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Open Voice #32: 2.2 billion, NPR stats, Alexa in a car, in a bike, speakers in a Death Star and for the elderly plus the NYT skill

Hi All, What a week it was. The CES had us overloaded with Voice news. It was exciting! The biggest
Open Voice #32: 2.2 billion, NPR stats, Alexa in a car, in a bike, speakers in a Death Star and for the elderly plus the NYT skill
By Maarten & Sam • Issue #32 • View online
Hi All,
What a week it was.
The CES had us overloaded with Voice news. It was exciting!
The biggest news came as statistics. First Amazon shared their 100 million end point news. Impressive for any device range to grow at such a rate without any contextual infrastructure like a mobile phone OS. All on its own merit.
Next Up was Google with the HUGE number of 1 billion end points. Mostly due to their Android install base. Add Siri’s 500 million and Cortana’s 400 million to the mix and you get 2 billion Voice end points. Nice. Add what we know of the Chinese market and it is over 2.2 billion with Xiaomi, Baidu and all the others.
But now we need stats on active users… The Voice revolution will only stick when more and better usage is found which goes beyond music, timers and the weather.
Our favorite Sunday newsletter The Exponential View by Azeem Azhar, a weekly wondermissive about the future, tech & society. (highly recommended and an inspiration for us). This week he mentioned Amazon’s 100 million news. After first framing it as a technology people didn’t expect to grow as it did, he shared his hesitation:
And with those numbers come more predictions that 2019 will be the year voice commerce takes off. My prediction: it won’t, if I am bullish in the long term for voice as an interface. I don’t believe we have adequately solved the user experience or the core natural language understanding techniques to really delight. Amazon trumpeted several Alexa use cases that were growing in this blog post, but ultimately music, timers and smart home integrations seem to be the dominant apps. Is it enough?
Readers know we share this stance. Enthusiasm about distribution is good but don’t loose sight of the ball: returning and a wide array of usage plus a business case based platform growth.
The motivation for Sam and me to do this newsletter, the Voice Cast show with BNR, the Open Voice events, the talks and help companies get going in the new conversational age is because we believe it is attainable. It just won’t come by itself; it requires work, resources, courage and tenacity. Are you ready?
From the department of podcasts
Check out thee latest episode of the Voice Cast show with Fadoa Schurer as our guest. She is cofounder of Embot.ai. An established Dutch Voice service company which has it own NLU. We talk about CES expectations. voice design and review the Auping storytime action.

The Assistant spotted on the Google page but is it backwards compatible? 8-)
The Assistant spotted on the Google page but is it backwards compatible? 8-)
pepto abysmal
i keep saying Alexa when I mean to say Siri and i just cant believe i live in a time where i am gettin my servant robots names mixed up
7:19 PM - 9 Jan 2019
Thanks for making it to the end! We have a lot more to share but will save it for next week. Let us know what you think, we really like to hear from you. It motivates us to do more and better.
Cheers,
— Sam and Maarten

Maarten shared his Voice insights in 2 minutes (in Dutch & in xmas sweater)
Maarten shared his Voice insights in 2 minutes (in Dutch & in xmas sweater)
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Maarten & Sam

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