About the Author
The ultimate resource in the voice space. Conversational interfaces, voice interfaces, smart speakers and smart assistants, voice strategy, audio branding.

Flash briefing 22 – Questions you need to answer for an effective voice strategy

What are the questions you need to answer for a effective voice strategy and sound identity?

When a client comes to you would you advise them to be as disciplined visually as sonically?

So here is 3 things you should have into account for your sound / voice strategy:

  1. Your brand persona: Most likely you already have defined a persona for your brand. You already know how it looks by all your visual elements, the logo, key colors, typography.  Now what about your sound and voice? Look into radio to get a hint, but first, think about the language you want to use: if you see one of your users at a park how would you greet them, how would you answer their questions? The language you’ll use will help you shape the voice you want to have. Have a library of sounds and voices. Be consistent and disciplined.
  2. Define in what context are your users most likely to interact with your app / brand. Is it at night almost always? Then, for example, check for the tone and cadence of the voice. The soothness should help the user to settle in, to remind them that this is the last voice they want to hear while preparing to rest.
  3. Finally, you need to really craft the first time users interact with your service and the welcome for the subsequent interactions. Refer to one of our posts, linked in the show notes, on how to manage a welcoming experience in a voice apps for more details. Make sure you provide guidance of the capabilities of your service application and how they can know more or ask for help. Your job in a voice app is first and foremost to reduce frustration to a minimum.

Flash briefing – 21 Voice-first: mobile vs smart speakers

There is this tendency to look at the numbers of shipping of smart speakers. If you look a little beyond in the future smart speakers will be a minor component in the intelligent assistants ecosystem. From stories with kids expecting Alexa to tell them the weather at a camping, to one yelling Bike stop! We can infer that voice is heading for ubiquitousness. And smart speakers are inherently static. So I think we are gonna see other devices popping up in the next couple of years with intelligent assistants. And here is where Apple might finally enter the actual competition. If the AirPods had some integration with a much improved Siri, and the same for the Apple Watch. I heard recently how companies are failing to see beyond what they are to what they can become in a voice first world. Each one of the big companies are applying their voice strategy to what they are today: Amazon ecommerce and computing, Google to search, Microsoft to productivity in the enterprise. One comment that specially reminds me of this is the one by Dave Isbitski, Chief Alexa Evangelist:

Thinking a lot lately about how #mobile is going to be lot more important to #voicefirst. I’m seeing people “try out voice” again on their phones. Could be we’re all getting used to talk to our tech now. I think smartphone may stay relevant as a go-to lot longer than thought.

Smartphones provide mobility, while smart speakers, provide a hands free experience. It seems natural to me that people want to extend the use of the smart speakers everywhere they go. And even more natural will be one device that can combine both capabilities: the true always- with-you personal assistant. So welcome the SiriPods or whatever might be called when developed.

Flash briefing 20 – Siri at the British Parliament

This post does not makes a serious stand on the actual security issue that the news might reflect. It’s a prediction on qhat the future could be with a smart assistant enabled parliament. 

The British secretary of defense was interrupted by Siri while delivering a statement to the parliament. Funny isn’t.

The response of the twitterverse was that this was a high security concern that he has a voice activated device with the listen on all the time in parliament sensitive meetings. Would it make sense that parliaments have a smart speaker/intelligent assistant in their meetings? I can see that will happen eventually. For sure we’ll have first to sort out the security concerns and privacy issues. It might sound too sci-fi now, but I don’t see it that far away.

Thanks for listening. If you want to support this show, please leave a rating and review on Apple podcast, Alexa skills store, Google Actions or wherever you listen to us. Or spread the voice, that helps too. Talk to you tomorrow!

Source of the tweet:

Flash briefing – 19 Generation V

Every once in a while, increasing in frequency I see a tweet of a parent stating something like my kid was trying to talk to Alexa in the amusement park or a kid asking for the weather in a tent at camp or concerned with Alexa being alone in the house. Here’s one example of a tweet by Adva Levin:

This generation of kids is growing expecting everything in their lives to be powered by voice. I call them Generation V. Listen to them, to how they interact with Alexa and Google Home: there’s a lesson or two that I infer from their behaviour: voice is the human interface, is the most natural way to interact with devices. Way before they can read, do math or know biology, kids can interact with smart speakers, and send them commands, but for them, they are talking with them, they are creating a connection a relationship. It makes them laugh, learn new things and play. They are growing used to it. And there are already some articles and studies discussing whether kids should talk to smart speakers politely or not, whether should they think if they have feelings. We can discuss one of those articles later, but reality is they expect objects to also receive commands and help them navigate this life. This is the true world of voice-first. The kids are living it. Are you designing your voice applications like a kid? You should.

Thanks for listening. Happy 4th of July for our US listeners that we know won’t be listening tomorrow.


Flash briefing 18 – Talking Hands Translates Sign Language to Voice

Another great application of voice technology is being developed by Italian startup LiMiX .The product, which is set to be released in 2019 is a glove and accompanying app that translates Italian Sign Language (or LIS, Lingua dei Segni Italiana) to voice. The implications are life-changing for those with hearing impairment and for people that don’t understand sign language. An estimated 99% of the world’s population doesn’t understand sign language. No longer will that matter. Signed words are translated to signals that are then sent to a voice synthesizer on a smartphone and spoken, dissolving language barriers.

In 2016 they won the R.O.M.E. (Rome Outstanding Maker of Europe) Prize at the 2016 Maker Faire Rome, along with the 100,000 euro prize money, giving them most needed financial aid to continue the project.

To be honest, I love how voice is being applied to wellbeing, people with disabilities and elder care. It’s my core belief that voice is the step we needed to really have technology impact most people’s lives.

Thanks for listening. Before wrapping up today’s episode I want to invite you to subscribe to our weekly newsletter, every Thursday morning we deliver our digest of what we think is the most relevant in voice first. You can subscribe at or at Also, this show can be listened now in Google Play, iTunes, CastBox and TuneIn. And last news I promise, we just launched VoiceFirst Weekly Google Action. Go to your Assistant app on your android phone or your home mini and say Ok Google, talk to VoiceFirst Weekly to listen to the current day flash briefing. Alright! Have a productive week and we’ll talk tomorrow.