Voice Report – April 17, 2017

On Release, Samsung’s Bixby Won’t Support Voice

The built-in assistant on Galaxy S8 phones will not support voice functionality when it is released on April 21.

Burger King Commercial Activates Google Home
The fast food chain gained a lot of publicity for a 15 second TV spot that caused Google Home to read Wikipedia’s entry about The Whopper. People began modifying the Wikipedia entry and Google eventually disabled the requests.

Amazon Opens up Alexa Microphone Technology to Hardware Makers

Continuing their effort to get Alexa into as many devices as possible, Amazon has begun sharing their far-field microphone technology with select manufacturers.

Voice Report – April 10, 2017

Apple Files Patent Enabling Siri to Identify Users by Voice
A patent filed by Apple reveals that the company is working on technology that would enable Siri to identify the acoustic properties of the user’s voice.

Alexa Skills Can Request User’s Location
A new API available to Alexa developers enables skills to access data about the user’s location.

Echoism.io Releases Improved Developer Console
The popular Echoism.io development site has released a new dashboard, making Alexa development and skill testing easier than ever.

Petlexa Commerical
On April 1st Amazon announced Petlexa, which allows your pet to re-order food and more from Amazon.

Voice Report – March 31, 2017

SiriKit Comes to Apple Watch
Ahead of June’s WWDC, Apple has released SiriKit for Apple Watch, allowing users ask Siri to do things like send messages, send payments, book a ride, and more.

Ikea Selling Smart Home Devices
Ikea has released a line of ZigBee-compatible smart home devices. No word yet on if there will be a companion skill for Alexa.

Samsung is Now Taking Pre-Orders for the Bixby-Enabled Galaxy S8
Looking to compete with Siri and Google, the Bixby voice assistant will make its debut in April when Samsung releases its next flagship phone.

Microsoft Announces “Samsung Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition”
In a strange move, Samsung and Microsoft are working together to release a Galaxy S8 with pre-installed Microsoft software. This begs the question – will this S8 be running Bixby or Cortana?

Voice Report – March 24, 2017

Samsung Announces its new Voice Assistant: Bixby
Showcasing the split between Google and other Android manufacturers, Samsung has announced the Galaxy S8 will use Samsung’s Bixby AI Assistant.

Huawei Mate 9 Phone Adds Alexa Support
Alexa will be available, through an app, on the Huawei Mate 9. Alexa’s weakness is that it does not have native support on any major phone.

City of Los Angeles Releases Alexa Skill
Another sign of Alexa’s growing footprint, The City of Los Angeles has released an Alexa Skill. They plan to build software for Cortana, Google and Siri at a later date.

Startup Idea – Maid Service Marketplace

Online marketplace for house cleaning
– Connect cleaners with homes
– Start with one local market, try to line up cleaners to get it started
– Or be prepared to do the cleaning yourself, to get started
– Charge a standard hourly rate, business gets %
– Easy job that anyone can do
– “Maids” get their profiles built up over time
– You are selling trust, same as AirBnB

Problems to think about
– Insurance / background checks required?
– How to keep people from going around the platform?