Germany, Spain and the UK are among the first markets to access Telefónica’s digital assistant Aura, a year after the service was first unveiled.

Aura, which initially lets customers check the status of their Telefónica accounts, has launched in Argentina, Brazil and Chile as well as the three European countries.

In Spain, subscribers can also use Aura to control services in the home, such as switching on lights, turning on the TV to select programmes and making phone calls, using their voice with a new Movistar Home device.

Telefónica teased Aura at Mobile World Congress 2017, but used this year’s event to officially launch it and outline some new developments.

For example, the operator has teamed up with Facebook in Chile and Germany to integrate Aura into its Messenger service.

It is also working with Google and Amazon to integrate Aura into the former’s Assistant and the latter’s Cortana services later this year.

Most of Telefónica’s customers will use Aura initially by downloading a dedicated app, such as Movistar+ Habla in Spain and O2 Ask in the UK.

Telefónica Group CEO José María Álvarez-Pallete said: "A year ago we said we wanted artificial intelligence to be the basis of our clients' relationship with us and we are delivering on our promise.”

Chema Alonso, Telefónica’s Chief Data Officer, added: “Aura is more than a digital assistant and this launch is just the beginning.

“Aura will grow day by day with new capabilities and will transform the way we interact with our customers.”

Read more: Q&A with Telefónica Chief Data Officer Chema Alonso

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