Hearing Voices - Issue #37, or "Amazon Payments in Alexa Skillz 🤩"

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"People have entire relationships via text message now, but I am not partial to texting. I need conte
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Hearing Voices

December 4 · Issue #37 · View online
This week's news about voice computing apps, delivered directly to your inbox.

“People have entire relationships via text message now, but I am not partial to texting. I need context, nuance and the warmth and tone that can only come from a human voice.” - Danielle Steel
“But also how warm and nuanced is this newsletter? amirite?” - Me

Wow, you turn around for 5 minutes and amazon launches Alexa payments, Alexa for business (and a dozen or so other products such as DeepLens). I know we usually go to “print” on Fri, but there was a lot to look at. Here we go:
To Try:
> VoiceMetrics - more from voicemetrics…this is really cool. they just released a feature that allows you to define names for any data element in any cell of any Sheet, or Slack Channel, and then “just ask” for the value.
> Tali - Conversational Time Tracking. For lawyers & such.
> Evolve - Well actually, it’s just called “The Podcast App.” It has a heavy emphasis on discovery with “Popular” and “Topics” categories. They’ve also made episode specific search.
> Destiny 2 - now has a companion Alexa skill that is, apparently very well done. Gamers to talk with the game’s A.I., “Ghost” asking it to manage inventor, equip, change armor, call for backup, etc. All actions are reflected in the gamer itself (I think…I’m not a destiny2'er).
> Jim Beam’s Smart Decanter - I wasn’t sure whether to put this in the “to try” or “newz” sections, but Jim Beam’s intelligent decanter may, as they put it “not be as smart as Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Apple Homepod, but it pours shots of bourbon whiskey.” 
> Echo Buttons - Amazon is billing this as “A new way to play games through your Amazon Echo”. This is a really cool angle on how interacting with voice products could change.
Newz:
> Amazon Skills to accept payments - to me, this is the biggest news of the week for skill developers (followed closely by, well, what follows). Jon Myers from Earplay gave his take in the members-only SMS channel (join here
> Alexa for business - Will businesses adopt Alexa? An early partner in the beta, WeWork, will let enterprise customers and WeWork HQ employees control the lights and reserve meeting rooms using their voice. This is mainly great for developers, who can now build skills geared towards businesses knowing that Amazon is doing a push in that market.
> 3 Things You’ll Be Talking About In 2018 - Despite the link-baity title, it’s an interesting piece arguing that voice is sort of the UI “middleware” that could connect together VR, AR, AI and other data platforms.
Have a great week!
- Matt Hrt.mn
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