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Voice killer app

The voice app killer was subject of some debate (Twitter-bate) this week after an article by Bloomberg outlining that Amazon Alexa has 80 000 skills but This platform is almost four years old, and you can’t point me to one single killer app. Voicebot also published an article related to it with a slightly different take:...

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BevMo! to trial a voice-activated, digital whiskey shopping assistant SmartAisle

Global marketing company The Mars Agency has partnered with US drinks retailer BevMo! to trial a voice-activated, digital whiskey shopping assistant, according to a post by The Spirits Business. The Mars Agency’s Smart Aisle platform has the intention to assist shoppers with product selection, and offer information and educational tools at the point of purchase....

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The Alexa Conference 2019 insider recap

It wouldn’t be fair to start this summary with anything else than appreciation for the work Bradley Metrock and his team pulled out organizing the conference. As I said the first day at the conference, it’s very strange to not stumble into a technical or logistical problem while setting up a booth at a conference....

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Apple’s HomePod will be available in China early next year

Apple’s HomePod will be available for sale in China early next year. A listing is already up on Apple’s China site, with the smart speaker priced at RMB 2,799 (about $407), or about 17% more than its $349 price in the United States. Though Apple doesn’t list an exact shipping date for Chinese buyers, it...

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Your Google Assistant can connect families to the North Pole

Google announced yesterday in their Canadian blog the introduction of new Google Assistant experiences for families.  The announcement clearly focuses Google Assistant in a light of family-related activities, especially with kids. Today, we’re introducing new experiences, designed specifically for families with kids so they can learn, play and imagine together. Among the new experiences, Google...

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Advancements in speaking styles in TTS

Yesterday via the Amazon blog we learned that the company has been working on a neural TTS that can model speaking styles with only a few hours of recordings. Among the problems in speech synthesis is the lack of tone and emotion. Finding correct intonation, stress, and duration from written text is probably the most...

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A court with a voice: Montgomery Court conversational services

Montgomery court, in Dayton city, Ohio has added a new technology to boost their services. The innovation, an automated virtual assistant and chatbot, will answer many of the most frequently asked questions received by the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts Office by email and phone. The bot is named after the Greek goddess of wisdom,...

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It’s time small businesses had big business capability. The AI for small business

The voice community is amazing to watch as it evolves. I have been very fortunate to meet lots of people who are making an impact on voice technology and conversational interfaces. This episode is special because it features one of those startups impacting voice tech every day, and it is the first time VoiceFirst Weekly...

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Voice activated smart glasses available exclusively in stores

A showcase for smart glasses opened yesterday, marking November 12 as the day (per the company) that the first world’s smart glasses store opened. North is the Canadian company who develops futuristic HCI products. The company has raised over 135 million from investors, including the Amazon Alexa fund. Focals is the smart glasses the company...

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How receptive are smart speaker owners to advertising?

Survata’s September survey of 2,000 smart speaker owners in the US came with one surprising finding: Apple HomePod owners are more likely to be receptive to audio ads than anyone else. According to the Survata data, as reported by BusinessInsider: 35% of HomePod owners would be interested in hearing about sponsored products or services on...

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