HTC Joins AI Digital Assistant Scene With 'Sense Companion' [Video]


HTC took to the stage recently to introduce two of the company's new smartphones in the HTC U Ultra and the HTC Ultra Play. A surprise came with the unveiling of the new phones for they say the new phones would also be where HTC's new AI companion "lives."

The new voice-controlled AI assistant will be called, Sense Companion, initially to reside in its HTC U Ultra. According to Android Authority, the digital assistant uses the second display of the HTC device and provides the same functions as that of Google Assistant, Apple's Siri, Samsung's S Voice (soon to be replaced by Bixby), and Amazon's Echo.

Sense Companion is said to merge voice control with contextual suggestions. The AI is a standalone product, but it is reported that it also integrates with Google Assistant, which means Sense Companion does not compete with the service directly.

Sense Companion will let users control their phone with their voice, order it to open apps, schedule reminders or jot events. As said above, the Companion only shows notifications on the secondary screen on the HTC U Ultra, according to Phone Arena.

The AI will learn from messages users respond to and those that they do not. With continued use, it will learn not to annoy its user with notifications from messages users tend to disregard. This "learning" process should become more helpful over time.

It is also ready to listen to "your" voice with four always-on microphones in HTC U Ultra. "Your" is the operative word here, as HTC built-in voice recognition in Sense Companion and can use your voiceprint for biometric unlocking, much like a fingerprint.

Additionally, HTC says it will continue to develop Sense Companion after its release. This means with continuous development, new functions will be added to it over time.

The HTC U Ultra is now available for pre-order, the device will be coming to the US and launched in March.

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