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Voice technology in CES 2019 - Issue #36

Every year the biggest innovators in technology gather in Las Vegas to showcase their latest advancem
Voice technology in CES 2019 - Issue #36
By Mari from VoiceFirst Weekly • Issue #36 • View online
Every year the biggest innovators in technology gather in Las Vegas to showcase their latest advancements in consumer electronics. The Consumer Electronics Show, now called simply CES is awaited by gadgets fans and technology insiders alike. The main stage this year has been taken by voice technology integrations. The competition is between Amazon and Google, and the target is voice in everything: the home, cars and consumer devices.
This issue is dedicated to the most relevant CES 2019 voice tech announcements made so far.
The Alexa Conference
Next week, Nersa, my co-founder at VoiceFirst Labs and I will be at The Alexa Conference. I will be speaking in the panel “Podcasting in the age of Alexa”, Tuesday, January 15, 2:45 PM - 3:30 PM. Come say hi if you are going to be there.
VoiceFirst Weekly will have a booth in the podcasting section, stop by! If you are not attending, keep an eye on Twitter as I will be live tweeting the event. There would be surprises 😉.
Finally, I’m happy to report that I was nominated for the first edition of The Alexa Awards in the Commentator of the year category. I’m incredibly honored, the list comprised accomplished journalists from NYT, The Atlantic and CNET, and industry experts. Thank you to those who nominated me 🙏.
The awards expand across several categories, you can find it all here.
As always, much ❤️.

The ultimate resource of voice technology.
The ultimate resource of voice technology.
CES 2019
Google announced today that the voice assistant is getting a new “interpreter mode” that can translate in real time so you can hold conversations with someone who doesn’t share the same tongue. It works, but it’s not magic.
Google Assistant will soon be able to act as your real-life translator in 27 different languages.
You’ll be able to say things like, “Hey, Google, help me speak French,” or “Hey, Google, be my French interpreter,” and Google Assistant will show text across a smart display that translates your words as you speak. Afterward, it will open the microphone for the second person to be able to speak in their language and words will be translated across the screen at the same time. Google Assistant also plays back the words in your native tongue.
You won’t need to tell Google the language you are speaking, it will be able to tell.
Google is making it easier for device manufacturers to integrate with Google Assistant technology, including those times when devices need to respond to voice commands without the benefit — or the expense — of being connected to Google’s cloud. To do so, Google is today launching into preview a new set of tools called, Google Assistant Connect, before making them broadly available to device makers later this year. This is similar to how Amazon’s Alexa Connect Kit is used with various smart devices, like the Alexa microwave.
More on the battle for voice enabled devices. Google is quickly catching up and taking a piece of the market.
Privacy in smart assistants
Voice AI shouldn’t be limited to smart speakers. If you are designing a new product today, you are likely to consider adding a voice assistant. Voice is the most intuitive man-machine interface.
A simulation and posture analysis robot with intelligent speakers
The GazeLab Inc. of Seoul has developed a cute desktop robot named Giiro that monitors the posture of the human at the desk and offers “coaching” on how to sit. GazeLab also has a Giiro-MAT. The user stands on the “special posture measurement mat with chiropractic design,” containing 600 sensors and 1.024 levels of pressure and awaits a decision.
100 million Alexa devices sold to date
Imagine having already 100 million ears to reach. Ok, let’s account for repeated devices, not 100, 50 million, still, a wide audience to build for, to be available for. Soon enough, if you are not in Alexa (or Google Assistant, Bixby, other smart assistants) will mean you don’t exist. Like the early days of Google search, is here, now at the beginning of 2019. If you are a developer, this is your time to jump, earn the recent Alexa skill builder beta certification. If you are a brand, reach out to us at VoiceFirst Labs, or the other working voice agencies and start figuring out your strategy for voice and audio.
The end of marketing as we know it
The addition of voice-first systems could eliminate much of the power of ‘push marketing’.
The Financial Brand articulates why marketing methods will be fundamentally altered with the rise of artificial intelligence, chatbots and the emergence of voice-first communication systems.
… In short, your voice-driven AI will create an Intelligent Assistant (IA) that will for all normal purposes be like a very close friend … but one that is 100% focused on serving you what you want.
Personalization, advanced analytics, automation and wider reach for ads are the main advantages marketers can expect and start applying with the current state of technology.
The future of AI provides this opportunity. The machine learning, combined with advanced automation and new communication still can develop custom content, in real time, and deliver the infinite number of messages, on demand to each individual consumer.
The article closes up posing an interesting question for banks, that I will apply to brands outside the financial sector: AI-Powered, Voice-First: Great Opportunity? Or Great Disruption?
In the news
Quote of the week
Voice will have the biggest impact over the next five years.
Sir Martin Sorrell
Did you enjoy this issue?
Mari from VoiceFirst Weekly

The ultimate resource in #VoiceFirst. Weekly digest of the most relevant news in the #VoiceFirst ecosystem. Everything from voice assistants to bots including conversational AI and published audio.

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