The Future of Voice: A Recap of VOICE Summit 2018

August 10th, 2018 | Jeff Ekdom | News,Opinion,SpinDance

About the Event

This summer over 2,800 thought leaders within the voice space gathered at the campus of the New Jersey Institute of Technology for the 2018 VOICE Summit. This first-time event sponsored by Amazon Alexa and designed for all those getting into natural language AI, NLP, and Alexa Skills programming.  The event included powerful keynotes, informative breakout sessions, thought-provoking panels, and valuable professional networking.

The theme of this year’s event was “Voice First.” The term voice-first refers to devices that use voice as the primary input method that points the way towards more integrated and useful user experience.  The event provided an opportunity for sharing, learning, and discussion about the future and the value of voice-first from both a consumer and business perspective.

The Future of Voice

In business and as consumers, we live very busy lives, and we are frequently searching to find ways to be more efficient.  Voice is a powerful tool; it is an efficient input modality: it allows users to give commands to a system quickly and on their terms. Hands-free controls allow users to multitask, and effective natural language processing eliminates the need for complex navigation menus, at least for familiar tasks and common commands.  Voice-first can meet user goals and business objectives for efficiency now and in the future.

Since children are exposed to digital and voice experiences at a very young age,…

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Thoughts on CES 2017: Wireless Power, Real-time Vision, and More

February 10th, 2017 | Brian Tol | Opinion

Late in January, some SpinDance engineers sat down to discuss the products and technologies that were announced at this year’s Consumer Electronic Show, also known as CES. Every year, there are literally thousands of products demoed and/or announced at CES, many of which never make it to market.

We’ve found the best way to process CES is by first looking at the overall trends, and then discerning the real value of the newly-announced products. Below is an edited transcript of the first part of our conversation. We’ll post the second half later in March.

The engineers around the table included Sean Hamstra, Karl Jager, Chris Samuelson, Brian Tol, and Ty Zoerner.

Real-time Vision & Molecular Scanning

Brian: I was really intrigued by some of the vision products announced at CES. There are some companies doing some really cool things, like the Aipoly AI product, and Consumer Physics’ molecular scanner. It’s basically a tricorder that identifies the chemical composition of things.

Karl: I agree. I see the application for that technology a lot more than some of the other products I’ve looked at.

Ty: Yeah, The AI product was neat. Imagine being a blind person, and you’re at the store. You point your phone at the shelving, and it tells you “here’s Pepsi”, or “here’s Coke,” etc. Really helpful.

Sean: And I was surprised how quickly it could identify things….

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