Huawei smartwatches are set to get a voice assistant on the wrist, in an update due to drop in the next couple of months.
The company confirmed to Wareable that its Celia AI voice assistant will land on smartwatches this year.
Essential reading: Upcoming smartwatches to look out for
“In a few months we are going to bring Celia, our smart assistant to the smartwatch,” Duan Mengran, director of the all-scenario solution department at Huawei told Wareable.
While Mengran didn’t mention specific models, both the existing Huawei Watch GT2e and Watch GT2 include an onboard speaker and microphone to support the new feature.
And it could appear alongside a rumoured new Huawei smartwatch, that’s tipped to run on its new Harmony OS operating system.
Celia was announced alongside the Chinese tech giant’s P40 series smartphones and then launched in June. The AI-powered smart voice assistant serves up a lot of the usual voice-based features including checking the weather, performing image searches and setting alarms when you say, “Hey Celia”.
It's fair to say smart assistants on watches haven't been a great union so far.
Whether’s that Siri on the Apple Watch, Alexa on Fitbit Versa 2, Google Assistant on Wear OS or Bixby on Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active 2. There’s definitely room for improving voice assistant integration.
There’s no confirmation whether it will be a feature that will be supported when paired to both Android and iPhones.
Access to the full complement of features on Huawei’s watches requires an Android phone, so it’ll be interesting to see whether Huawei does what Google did and offer a separate app to download and make use of the feature. Our feeling is that this might be one for Android users.
Huawei’s smartwatch business is booming, having seen an 118% year on year growth for the first quarter of 2020.
It also says it’s the only vendor to enjoy 100% growth this year. It’s putting that success down to well received features like “battery life, heart rate monitoring, sleep monitoring and sports monitoring features” says Mengran.
It launched the Watch GT2e earlier this year as a sportier version of the Watch GT2 that rolled out in 2019. It scored a 3.5 out of 5 in our review and was praised it for its strong fitness insights and great sleep tracking. There were some bugs though, and the experience with an iPhone still feels inferior to the Android one.
Mengran didn’t provide a firm date for when Celia will be on smartwatches, but it seems we’re not going to have to wait too long for it. We’ll keep you posted of course when we find out more.
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