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Big Ideas in Voice Assistant Technology

Cara Lemieux, Senior Communication Strategist
#Brand | Posted

Right around the time Alec Baldwin showed us how easy it can be to order cashmere socks while in boxers shorts, our team at Phase2 began discussing the incredible opportunity that exists in brands leveraging voice-enabled technology. Whenever we discuss this “voice revolution”, we end up buzzing with ideas about what we want to build. We find ourselves talking about what problems we can solve, how we can help our clients reach new levels, and the passion projects that we’d love to see come to fruition.

Here are some of the ideas being discussed in the virtual halls of Phase2.

Who: Kellye Rogers, Director of Solutions Strategy
What I want to create: Echo Integration with all my wellness apps
Tell me more: My health and well-being are very important to me, and I use technology to help me reach my goals. On my phone, I use the Map My Run app for marathon training, the Soul-Cycle app for booking classes, LoseIt for nutrition, Krav Maga Gym app for schedule and training curriculums, Sleep Cycle for monitoring sleep quality and Smoke Free to remind me how many years it’s been since I went nicotine free. (Yay!) My health is digital first in so many ways, but it could be even more so.
I’d love to see devices like the Amazon Echo or Google Home pull all of these apps together for me, so that I can use them in the my life really works. “Alexa, open My Wellness. Alexa, how many calories and what nutrients should I consume for dinner to stay on target for healthy dinner?” “Or, OK Google, book Rachel Brooke’s 6am Soul Cycle Class at Castro Studio. What was my average sleep quality this week? What’s my average mile pace since April?” therefor providing me with a fully digital and healthy life.
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Who: Stacey Febbraro, Vice President, Business Development & Oliver Tree, Business Development Manager
What we want to create: Voice Assistants for expecting and new mothers
Tell me more: Imagine: Your baby is four months old, and won’t stop crying. You’re worried about a rash that has appeared on her back and stomach, and it seems to be growing bigger. You’ve got both your hands full trying to feed the child… and the dog needs to be let out “Alexa ask Parent Center, signs that accompany a rash in a newborn that require medical attention.” And Alexa responds, “If your baby has a rash and a fever over 101 degrees, please consult your physician. Would you like me to schedule a teleconference now?” “Yes, what’s the next available time and doctor” “There’s an appointment in ten minutes, would you like me to schedule it and send you a link via text message?” “Yes, confirmed.” You’re now done feeding the baby right before the teleconference is set to begin, as you frantically set up the computer with video camera you tell Alexa to ask “Parent Center” to log the breastfeeding session as 15 minutes, both sides.

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Who: Carlos Ruiz, Account Director and Sports Fan
What I want to create: “Game Tutor”
Tell me more: One of the main barriers of entry for a new sports fan, of any sport, is understanding some of the main structures of the game (positions, plays, rules, etc). All league sites have “game centers” that give the play by play. Working as a companion to the play by play, you could have a pre-configured library of terms and when something comes up a fan can say “Alexa/OK Google…explain _____ to me” and it would say “a rundown is when….” or “the Cornerback is the player…” This would help shorten the learning curve for getting into a sport and offer a fun way for sports brands to invite new fans to the table.

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Who: Cara Lemieux, Senior Communication Strategist
What I want to create: Grocery delivery ordering using voice-enabled technology
Tell me more: There is so much I love about my Amazon Echo, particularly the ability to open the fridge, realize I am out of milk and simply say, “Alexa, please add milk to my shopping list.” I also love the convenience of taking that shopping list and then ordering groceries online (usually at about 10:30pm, long after my daughter is asleep and from the comfort of my sweat pants) and having them delivered to my house.
I would love to see grocery delivery services in the suburbs create skills for these new virtual-assistants so I can remove the step of taking the list and then inputting my order into the grocery store website online. I get dreamy eyed when I imagine the ability of saying, “Alexa, please add a gallon of the milk I purchased last week to my shopping list. Alexa, please add a dozen of the eggs I ordered last week to my shopping list, etc.,” and then simply proofreading the list on my phone before either manually submitting the order or asking Alexa to do so.
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Who: David Spira, Product Strategist and cofounder of RoomEscapeArtist.com where he has been reviewing room escapes on four continents for over two years.
What I want to create: Voice interaction puzzles for escape rooms
Tell me more: In the past three years, room escapes have evolved from basic low-tech puzzle games, to highly immersive games with designs that branch in different directions. Some have integrated live actors, while others have adopted ever more impressive technology. One area that hasn’t yet been mined for puzzle and interaction design is audio input.
I would love to see a game designed in the spirit of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Players have to outsmart an AI that responds to their voice commands. It offers increasingly challenging puzzles, and with correctly voiced answers, micro-controllers around the room trigger other automagical interactions.

Cheers to your voice in 2017!

Cheers to Your Voice Graphic

 

Here at Phase2, we’re excited about all the potential application of voice assistant technology and wanted to say Cheers to your voice in 2017!
Be sure to check out our Alexa skill we developed for all our Phase2 friends to share and use!  

This holiday season, let Alexa help you find the perfect toast for any gathering. You can find “CheersMe” in the Alexa skill store here!

 

Cara Lemieux

Senior Communication Strategist