Hello, happy Monday! Welcome to VoiceFirst Weekly! What you need to know to start your week in voice: First
Shortwave, Google new experiment on audio
According to a release by The Verge, Google is working in an experimental podcast app called Shortwave. The app was discovered by the trademark filing which describes it as “allow[ing] users to search, access, and play digital audio files, and to share links to audio files.”
A Google representative said the focus of the app was on spoken word content and that the project being developed in the Area 120 incubator will help users discover and consume spoken-word audio in new ways. It’s an early experiment and they didn’t give more details.
This comes after Google released the Podcast app, which we made an episode on probably a month ago. It’s unknown what will be the difference between Shortwave and Google Podcasts, but it’s clear that the forefront of the company is AI, but they are betting hard on audio and a voice-first future.
GOV.UK gets a voice
As a government we need to approach voice services in a consistent way. That’s a quote from an article released in gov.UK blog. GOV.UK is incorporating voice assistants to their digital strategy. Smart speaker ownership in the UK is up 8% of adults, 3 points ahead in 2018 alone. For the team behind the work, conversations with Amazon and Google made it clear that many users are asking questions where government is the best source.
For GOV.UK, working on voice is an opportunity to meet the rising expectations of users and make government more accessible.
GOV.UK is designing for scale, for anwer government related questions, for consistency and for multi-platform. The site is aware of the current challenges, like privacy and identification that many government services requires. But they are also very aware of the advantages and playing wait and see for the present challenges, providing users on voice platforms with what they can offer today.
This is not the first time government service gain a voice, the city of Ozark, Missouri developed an Alexa skill by the guys at VoiceXP. But I do think is the first time at a national level. There is so much potential in government services for conversational interfaces that I’m sure, we’ll see more use cases like GOV.UK emerging.
Thank you for listening, you have productive week, an awesome day. Remember to like comment and subscribe and tell me what you will like to hear me talk about in future episodes. Our Twitter handle is voicefirstlabs and we are voicefirstweekly in Instagram, shut us a comment there to let me know what you think or anything else really, I love to interact about this space. My name is Mari, I’m will talk to you tomorrow.