[THE INVESTOR] South Korea’s mobile carrier KT on Nov. 23 unveiled three additional devices connecting to its artificial intelligence speaker GiGA Genie as part of efforts to expand the use of the AI platform currently from the living room to all corners of a residence and even outside, with upgraded voice and dialogue capabilities.
One of the devices is the GiGA Genie LTE, which combines a 10-watt Harman Kardon speaker and LTE router, running on an eight-hour battery.
Lim Heon-moon, president of the mass general business division at KT, introduce GiGA Genie Family devices at a press conference held at the company’s headquarters in central Seoul on Nov. 23. KT.
Adopting an LTE router, the AI speaker sets itself apart from similar products, like rival SK Telecom’s NUGU and Naver’s Friends that operate via Wi-Fi.
Connected to the GiGA Genie speaker, which is usually installed with an internet protocol TV at home, the portable LTE speaker enables the user to verbally control home utilities in addition to its basic functions such as voice-activated information searching and media services.
KT also introduced the mug-size portable device GiGA Genie Buddy, which can be moved around at home for use during household chores.
The company showcased the GiGA Genie Kids Watch, too, slated for launch in January, with an additional safety function for kids on top of communications and searching roles.
The three new devices feature improved voice recognition and dialogue capabilities, according to the company.
“GiGA Genie devices are equipped with greater memory span, which can analyze previous dialogues and context and throw questions or make recommendations to users,” said Baek Gyu-tae, head of the research center at KT. “GiGA Genie will continue developing its capabilities for human-like intelligent conversation.”
Since KT launched the GiGA Genie home speaker 10 months ago, the number of AI speaker users has steadily grown to around 400,000 through KT alone. It aims to reach 500,000 by the end of the year.
However, the company considers the growth slower-than-expected, and so has decided to introduce more devices to expand the use of the AI platform by removing physical barriers.
“From customer experiences, we’ve learned that GiGA Genie users want to expand the services for more personal uses from those limited to the living room environment,” said Lee Phill-jai, executive vice president at KT.
By Song Su-hyun/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)