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Alexa privacy concerns arises and our VoiceCon takeaways - Issue #3

We were this week at VoiceCon, a conference full of people very passionate about voice. VoiceCon made
Alexa privacy concerns arises and our VoiceCon takeaways - Issue #3
By Mari from VoiceFirst Weekly • Issue #3 • View online
We were this week at VoiceCon, a conference full of people very passionate about voice. VoiceCon made clear that there is no a big winner in the space yet, there is lots of opportunity for disruption. 
Amazon and Google are starting to face more competition in the smart speaker market as Chinese brands Alibaba and Xiaomi are gaining more traction. 

VoiceCon
VoiceCon was a conference held in NYC last Tuesday 26th. The biggest takeaway we had for brands, entrepreneurs and developers is that there is a lot of room for experiment and this is the time to do it. Another big point raised is the soon to be need for brands to create their sonic personas. Sound and voice will play a major role in next branding efforts and in the way brands will interact with their customers. We are big believers that companies need to be thinking about their voice and sound strategy.
Segmentation of smart speakers market
Reports on smart speakers global shipment statistics reveal that Amazon has a number of about 4 million units in first quarter of 2018. However, it’s losing market share as Google saw a growth of 709% and new vendors are dominating Chinese and Korean markets. We might see Apple Siri’s rise as well, as reportedly studying and becoming smarter. What it is clear is that 2018 will see even more fragmentation of the market and probably more wearables emerging too. 
This is partly as a result of strong growth in the Chinese market for smart speakers where both Amazon and Google are currently absent. Alibaba and Xiaomi are leading the way in China and their strength in the domestic market alone is proving enough to propel them into the global top five. 
David Watkins, Strategy Analytics Director
Resources
Build an Alexa skill without knowing how to code. 
What we are loving about VoiceFirst is how is bringing people from different backgrounds and ages to build skills. If you want to build an Alexa skill without knowing how to code, here’s small list to get you started pretty quickly:
Released by Amazon as a helper to create different types of skills without coding. Pricing it’s free. 
Alexa Skill Blueprints
Storyline provides a visual way to create skills. Pricing consists of a free and a pro version at 49/m. Skill built on Storyline won global Alexa Kids Challenge and $20k.
Storyline - the easiest way to create an Amazon Alexa skill without coding
VoiceApps provides similar functionality as Storyline. Has a free version, a professional plan at 9.95/month and a custom plan that requires contact.  
Apparently, an Echo speaker “guessed” the command to send a message via Alexa Voice Messaging without asking for verbal confirmation. Amazon apologized, but what does this mean for the privacy concerns in smart speakers? Tell us what you think.
Alexa recorded a woman's private conversation and sent it to a random contact | VentureBeat
Quote of the week
#VoiceFirst is real! The future is about PEOPLE again and not how well they get tech or the UI you’ve built. You’ve never been as close to your customer as a #brand than a conversational experience will bring. Voice will empower everyone, everywhere across every age.
Dave Isbitski, Alexa Evangelist
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Mari from VoiceFirst Weekly

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