Sam is enjoying his first week of vacation and I just got back from a week of VOICE19
on the east coast.
The Voice Summit was good. Very good. It took place at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark (next to New York). A good match because there we many sessions and the university has the facilities to support this. Combined with good wifi this made the whole venue experience a-ok.
The setup was a bit like SXSW with the amount of sessions and the choice conundrum. Also there was an expo where many Voice vendors were ready to help you.
My take aways need to stew a bit longer although a first take out is as follows:
US smart speaker usage has crossed the chasm but no real usage stats beyond the main three use cases: music, weather and general questions. There are two waves in the industry. First, the newbies who just started out and are relentlessly enthusiastic in their discovery of the new possibilities. Second there are the old hands who have been around for awhile and are looking for more usage and know that simple tree like flows are not sustainable.
Amazon, Samsung, Google (and a bit Microsoft) all want developers, and are working for it with tools, developer sessions and community support. Samsungs Bixby is the fourth entrant and had a very strong presence at the event yet showed no sign if they can do developer community support execution well or better than the rest.
All those who work longer than 5 years in Voice have worked at Nuance at some point in their career. They form the back bone of the industry.
publisher and founder of Voicebot had the best workshop (in my opinion) on Monday where he took all through a Voice strategy session in 4 hours. Basically everyone walked away with a voice strategy. Best take away was that if you build “it” they won’t
come. Just like web and with apps, you need to advertise to market your voice service and grow users. His strategy framework, which will be published soon was also very useful too. It helps determine what type of play you can choose as an org. Here is a description
Three exhibitors caught my eye:
, the Voice chip designer. Any organisation who has any kind of hardware, from toasters to bikes, should talk to them. They create cheap Voice interface chips to put into toasters or bikes. They are the ones who will make all buttons and knobs obsolete.
provides Voice Biometric Identification. Within seconds the system will know who you are using their smart and tested services. In New Zeeland over 75% of the population use their tech to ID themselves for the local social services like child support, pension etc. People are recognised through the phone by the system. And yes, this is now available for Voice. The people behind it know what the do, are practical and no nonsense with all the accuracy numbers to back it up. Never knew how far this technology was and a clear sign that they are key to the next level of Voice integrations.
, they call it human centered AI for banks. It actually is a very smart service using psychometric data, aka your personality profile, to converse with you about financial products and services. This is the future for all Voice. I hope we all do well emerging and applying this. Not mis-use it.
The Dutch were well represented too, Talpa was there with three managers, as well as people from Xebia, ING and Q42. Plus Maikel of Voice Branding
(who did several workshops and panels) and Jeroen Vonk of SVB and Project Zilver (about which he did a solid keynote).
had lots of intrest over all. Many people see the opportunity of the older adult market plus Voice and have not done any research or other steps in there like Project Zilver. Expect some international news about the project soon… 8-)
Personally my biggest takeaway is that, although the growth of Voice usage is phenomenal as is the development of the technology, a new step is needed regarding the usage. The foundation of this new industry can’t be built on just Google, Amazon and Samsung’s strategy’s with Music and Weather as key cases. Nuance, Houndify on an independent platform level, as well as Bond.ai and Auraya lead the way in more effective and deeper integrations which will bring us there. This will take time and may lead to a cooling of the excitement in the short term.
Now on with the show!
Literally, as a new Voicecast
is available about how RTL created their services and other smart insights with special guest and smart voice specialist Jolien van de Griendt. Subscribe with Itunes