Has Nokia got Siri and Cortana in its sights with Viki digital assistant?

A move by Nokia in Europe suggests it may be building its own digital assistant, called Viki, for mobile devices.

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Nokia's trademark application for Viki comes just as the new Android-powered 5.5-inch Nokia 6 launches.

Image: HMD Global

A new trademark application by Nokia suggests the former mobile-device giant could be building a phone-based digital assistant called Viki.

Nokia filed the European trademark application for the name Viki just ahead last week's launch of the new Android-powered 5.5-inch Nokia 6 from HMD Global, the sole licensee of Nokia handsets, which plans to sell its first Nokia mobile exclusively in China this year for around $250.

Nokia's involvement in the new phones is limited to branding and IP. However, the new trademark application could suggest it still may be eyeing a prominent place on Nokia-branded Android devices via Viki, which could be its answer to artificial intelligence-powered digital assistants such as Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri, Google's Assistant, and Microsoft's Cortana.

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According to Nokia's application, first spotted by GSMInfo.nl, Viki will be "for the creation and monitoring of mobile and web digital assistants working with knowledge and combining all data sources into a single chat and voice-based interface".

Nothing else beyond the brief description is available. ZDNet asked Nokia for more information about the application but the company declined to be drawn on any details, saying, "Nokia registers trademarks from time to time, but we don't comment on how, whether or when they may be used for Nokia products or services."

If Nokia were to launch a digital assistant, it wouldn't be the first software project it has produced for other platforms.

While Nokia devices were part of Microsoft, Nokia's IP arm, Nokia Technologies, released its Z Launcher for Android and its N1 tablet. The company is also targeting wearables and smart home products via its Withings acquisition.

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