Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri are the leading digital voice assistants in the market. Samsung’s Bixby and Microsoft’s Cortana are some of the other notable competitors. Bloomberg had recently reported that Huawei is working on its own voice assistant that will be aimed towards the Chinese market. Through the firmware files of EMUI 8.1 (based on Android 8.1 Oreo), XDA Developers have unearthed numerous traces of HiAI Mobile Computing platform powered HiAssistant
Huawei handsets that are available in China are preloaded with HiVoice. It allows users to carry out basic functions like a making phone call through voice command. It is not as sophisticated as other voice assistants that are leading the market. However, the upcoming HiAssistant will be a powerful virtual assistant as it will come with Natural Language Understanding (NLU). It enables the smartphone to interpret unstructured sentences through human input.
The publication claims that the HiAssistant will be available in the home country and only those devices will be supporting that are powered by Kirin 970 chipset and EMUI 8.1. The international build the upcoming Huawei P20 and P20 Pro does not feature HiAssistant which confirms that Huawei will be making it available exclusively in China. Since there are several strings of HiAssistant in the leaked build, it appears that the virtual assistant will be given power to control almost every setting available on the device through voice.
Apart from controlling the device, HiAssistant also features a search option for food, emoticons, navigation routes, train tickets, videos and so on. It can also search through specific categories such as music albums, TV shows, books and more. HiAssistant will also make it possible to send payments to major banks in China.
HiVision that functions like Google Lens can recognize objects of different categories like food, animals, vehicles, appliances, tools and so on. It can also read barcodes and text. The HiAI Mobile Computing platform will make it possible for third-party apps to recognize scenes such as beaches, fireworks, flowers, dogs, cats and more.
The above features of the HiAssistant does show that it has the potential to rival with Google Assistant, Alex and Siri. As of this writing, there is no information available on whether HiAssistant will be coming on devices sold outside of China.