HMD Global has unveiled the much-awaited Nokia 6 smartphone which marks the return of the Nokia brand to the smartphone market.
Now, it seems that the company is looking to throw the gauntlet to the likes of Siri, Cortana and Alexa with the arrival of Viki - its very own AI-powered assistant.
Nokia has reportedly applied for a trademark for the name Viki in the EU. The trademark filing from Nokia was first spotted by the folks at GSMInfo. The filing suggests that Nokia is looking to develop its very own virtual assistant, which could be along the lines of Microsoft's Cortana and Apple's Siri.
The trademark filed by Nokia describes Viki as a "software for the creation and monitoring of mobile and web assistants working with digital knowledge and combining all data sources into a single chat and voice-based interface."
Nokia is the only one looking at developing its own virtual assistant as Samsung too is said to have a personal assistant dubbed Bixby in the works.
With its very own virtual assistant, Nokia would possibly look to embed Viki in impending smartphones that are manufactured in partnership with Finland-based HMD Global. The arrival of personal assistant that is embedded in upcoming Nokia-branded smartphones would take things up a notch. Whether Viki will have an edge over Siri, Cortana and Amazon's Alexa (which will reportedly be integrated into Huawei's new flagship smartphone) remains to be seen.
Siri for example is integrated with many features such as announcing the names and numbers of the caller, booking a cab ride through ride hailing services Uber or Lyft, placing Whatsapp calls and retrieving photographs with ease. Nokia's Viki has got its work cut out if it wants to give Apple sleepless nights.
Viki's biggest rival, however, is expected to be the Google Assistant. Personal assistants integrate a different set of interactions, where a user does not have to touch or pick up the phone. The Google Assistant nails the brief and offers seamless control over the smartphone. Siri and Cortana are quite limited in their interaction by comparison.
What Functions Will Viki Integrate?
The trademark description notes that Viki is Nokia's very own voice-activated assistant and it could be baked into the OS of HMD Global's upcoming Nokia-branded phones. However, this is mere speculation and a possibility exists that Viki could be related to some other project on which Nokia is working currently.
The trademark filing does not detail the capabilities of Viki and, therefore, it is not known what functionalities it will be capable of.
For now, Nokia fans will need to remain content with the information that it has a new and exciting software in the pipeline.