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Kakao Navi app gets AI makeover with upgraded voice commands

Kakao Navi, the mobile navigation app from South Korean mobile messaging giant Kakao, now offers upgraded voice command features following the adoption of the firm’s artificial intelligence engine Kakao I, the company said Wednesday.

With the change, Kakao Navi users can access key features of Kakao Navi as well as those offered by Kakao’s AI speaker Kakao Mini via voice. To activate, users simply need to say “Hey Kakao,” click the voice command button or make hand gestures near the phone. 

Kakao Navi users can converse with Kakao I, check new messages and send KakaoTalk messages -- such as one’s current location and expected arrival time -- via voice. Users can also ask Kakao I questions such as “What’s my remaining travel time?” or “What is my current location?” via voice.

Users can access various services offered on the Kakao Mini speaker, including music recommendation and streaming, weather information, information search and more.

Looking ahead, Kakao plans to add a feature that reads out KakaoTalk messages via voice, so that drivers can check their KakaoTalk messages safely while driving.

The new AI features are now available on the latest version of the Kakao Navi app. It is currently offered on Android devices only. Upgrades for iOS devices will come in the near future, according to Kakao.

By Sohn Ji-young (
Korea Herald daum