07 Apr

Covid-19 Global Crisis Insights, or Looking At The Half Full Glass

amir Uncategorized 0 Comments

Year 2020 started with the unprecedented global Covid-19 (#Coronavirus) plague, and in a hyper connected world – every story, piece of news, progress or tragedy are quickly shared throughout the entire world. In this article, I will share some insights from our understanding of this biblical-scale event, and try to suggest a few opportunities – on the optimistic side of things- for the voice related tech scene.

After a few weeks observing the plague from afar, seeing its pandemic evolution first in China, then in Italy and the rest of Europe, and finally Israel (by now, early April 2020, the virus reached almost the entire globe) – there are several key point which we believe many people will take with them, as the plague will be contained and resolved [needless to say, this article is our modest contribution to the general “virtual round circles” of thoughts around preparing for life after Coronavirus]:

  • Staying home. Work From Home (#WFH), remote schooling, telemedicine and beyond. We think that the experience many people were forced to adopt will continue to effect the future behavior. People will be less reluctant to work from home (both employer and employee), acknowledging its efficiency’s feasibility.
  • Personal Hygiene in public areas. People traveling or moving in public areas (transportation, governmental services, entertainment etc) will be significantly more self-aware to personal hygiene, touching surfaces, and any type of physical contact;
  • Services provided remotely. From the online grocery (up from 13% to 31% in the US) ramping up, to delivery of medicine, home repair, home-aid to the elderly and to the various consumers’ services now being accessed over the phone \ online. Where the user experience was decent or good, it is much likely that, to some extent, people will continue to seek for such experience in the post-coronavirus times.
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Sources: Brick Meets Click and ShopperKit survey

Which opportunities does this crisis brings to the voice technology solutions?

  • Better Communication. People will be looking for a better communication with their service providers – whether in the form of excellent self service, or simply getting the information and products they seek- in a pleasant and intuitive manner.
  • Intuitive. People look for intuitive touch-less interface, mainly in residential buildings and public areas, such as elevators, vending machines, information kiosk and others.
  • Brands – experienced with the new form of interacting with their users – will enhance the online \ in-direct services.

Moving forward – looking at the near and far future, with an optimistic view:

  • Kiosk\ATM\Vending. For physical hardware solutions, located in open public areas and used by people in commute or travel – Kiosk, TVM, etc – >> Invest in redesigning your service to make it voice enabled – make your services voice ready. A great example is demonstrated with Thales RCS’ TransCity Voice.
Thales RCS' TrancityVoice digram
  • Governments. Government administrations around the world should take proactive approach to facilitate the ennoblement of touch-free interfaces in public areas, similar to the accessibility acts.
  • Consumer. Invest in better self service, intuitive solutions for your consumer engagement, available across all channels, mobile application, web site and support. In most of the cases, applying the voice layer, or voice functionality, will require minimal efforts, in order to evaluate it and plan it ahead, for a large scale deployment.
  • Elderly. Make your solution elderly friendly – using intuitive voice interface, so that the elderly audience, can access it, without complicated technical prerequisites.
  • Touch-Free. Find ways to convert you service to touch-free. One perfect example is the Elevator – it must become voice enabled. Coming out of quarantine, people will be reluctant to touch a public area interface, especially when elevators are know to be some of the most infectious vehicles during the #coronavirus.
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Worth mentioning – the Open Voice Network or OVN, a non profit organization, plays an instrumental role in setting up global standard for voice AI implementation and data privacy. We recommend reaching out to them to learn and consult.

Bottom line:

It doesn’t take a lot of resources to start engaging with voice technology. Also, there are solutions which will comply with your privacy requirements, and user privacy regulations.

So – What now?

Now is the time to redesign, install and evaluate voice interfaces. If you’re in charge of customer experience, innovation or product – you need to start doing it now, and be ready when the world is out of quarantine – soon enough :). There are several articles about it online. Or you can talk to us.

Tukuoro is the Voice Open Platform. The insights and observations outlined in this article are based on Tukuoro team’s perception of current market behavior, trends and on customer’s feedback in these challenging times.

Reach out to us and learn how to make your interface Voice enabled.

We send our deep appreciation and feel thankful for the never-ending human work performed by medical teams around the globe.

Follow us on TwitterFacebook or LinkedIn.

Contact me for more;

04 Sep

The White Labeled Voice (UI) – or Voice UI Beyond the Obvious.

amir Business, User Experiance, Voice AI 0 Comments

How brands seek to adopt their own – private – voice tech.

Summer is finally behind us, or we wish to think so (J), towards Q4 / 2019, organizations start to finalize their financial and work plans towards 2020. Part of these plans include the Voice technology, which becomes a major part of any planning – from consumers’ centric organization, to employees’ interaction and efficiency considerations.

In this post I will describe several use cases, which illustrates the cross-market-segment interest that voice technology is raising, and that we encounter at Tukuoro.

The common factors for all the use case described below are:

  • Controlling data flow, or data ownership. When an organization deploys a voice user interface, it will seek to have control over the users’ information used by the voice technology, especially when it comes to users’ personal data and the business data which is part of the engagement.
  • Supporting Languages / Accent. Organizations deployed globally, or those who have users speaking in different accents, when using unique terms (corporate lingo). For such organizations, the users will have a frustrating experience, when they will try to make the engagement in voice due to in accuracy. A good example is illustrated in this video.
  • Implementation Complexity. Organizations, usually not having an R&D capabilities within voice tech software development, will look for a simple to implement solution, which requires them minimum efforts during integration, testing, deployment and maintenance of the voice functionality…
  • Use case Flexibility. As voice tech is in it’s early days, organizations look to start small, with simple use cases, but soon enough extend it to add more functionality, as their users adopt the new UX.

Use Cases – beyond the obvious

The past few years, were packed with increasing number of notifications, messages, articles, media coverage and more – all discussing the Smart Speaker.

Naturally this also created massive engagement with the subject matter, and employed many activities and coverage, such as best smart speaker for year 2019, “Smart Speakers adoption”, “Smart speakers discovery challenge” and so on.

I wish to argue that smart speakers are not the only way to go with VOICE. In fact, the smart speakers phenomena is mainly the tip of the iceberg, and the real value of Voice User Interface and its huge potential is found elsewhere. Voice becomes a standard and expected user interface, to the degree it is being part of nearly any market segment one can think of, whether for consumer / customers engagement, or for internal / employees activities, including: filed employees reporting (CRM, ERP, FSM, and more), anonymous consumer engagement (Vending Machines, Ticketing, In-Store smart devices, Digital Signage), In-App user activity (retail apps, services apps, and any other brand related apps), Smart home automation (the smart appliances, and beyond) and of course the in-car voice assistant – while we are getting closer to the semi-autonomous cars, and anticipating the truly autonomous era.

Thus, in fact, everything is voice enabled, in potential, and what we experience in the past few months is that – indeed- many brands in every vector, are looking for the best way to make voice technology a valid one for their own requirements.

The Field Employee Reporting

Data is missing from the enterprise data store. The field employee is always on the go, traveling from customer to customer, from site to site, and in most cases, does not visit the office quite so often. The information generated during the field visits is crucial to the organization’s planning, and growth.

Typing in information is an ongoing battle in so many organization and now, instead of tackling this challenge in a carrot / stick approach, the new UI – Voice, becomes relevant, while it allows employees to have an intuitive interaction with the corporate platform.

The traveling agent can submit a meeting summary in just 20 secs, while traveling to the next meeting. He or she can query information, stored after the previous meeting, to get acquainted with the up to date status, or inquire a specific technical information.

Considerations in this use case: Business Data privacy, supporting multi language, corporate lingo, simple integration with enterprise data store, in –app api support.

The Anonymous Consumer Engagement

While smart speakers are somewhat personal devices, in the sense they are used within the privacy of the home – mostly in their living room, followed by in their bed room – some research say.

Yet, an increasing number of publicly accessible devices start offering the voice functionality. In these cases, the user is anonymous to the platform – and the service offered in voice is focused. Possible use cases can be – a ticketing vending machine, smart digital signage, in-store or in-building help kiosk stations, and more.

Considerations in this use case: Edge device platform support, ease of implementation, supporting unique service, Offline deployment, Stand alone edge support.

In-app voice UX

As different segments require voice user experience, many of which are looking to embed the voice UI within an existing application. This results in new type of a challenge for the brand – enabling the Voice feature within their existing application, usually developed by outsource contractor.

Once defining the services within the application which will become available in voice, the brand is looking for applying the voice UI quickly and safely, without having to be concerned with every version upgrade or adopting new scenario. Integration needs to be plug and play.

Considerations in this use case: ease of implementation, easy feature enhancement, users’ data privacy, business data privacy and ownership, mobile platform independence, language, accent and natural speaking support.


What’s next?

If you’re in charge of customer experience, innovation or product – you need to start planning your voice strategy, and there are several articles about it online. Or you can talk to us.

Tukuoro is the Voice Open Platform. The best practices outlined in this article are based on the experience Tukuoro team gained while working with customers, in the various use cases and design discussions.

Reach out to us and learn how to make your interface Voice enabled.

Follow us on TwitterFacebook or LinkedIn.

Contact us for more;

10 Jun

Voice User Experience. Are we closer to design best practices?

amir User Experiance Tags: , , 0 Comments

Voice User Experience. Are we closer to design best practices?

In the last few years, we witness the incredible growth of the Voice User Interface, or VUI, across various use cases, segments, languages and more. See my previous observations about user experience & privacy and what to expect in VUI, as an example.

Yet, although VUI becomes a standard part of a product design, a bigger question, or a notion, becomes increasingly present in many different parts of the eco system: Voice Design. How should the VUI be part of the considerations during a product or service design process and what are the best practices for VUI design and implementation?

Voice technologies are in their infancy stage, as indicated by this Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies – where “Virtual Assistants” is marked for “Plateau of Productivity” by 2023. (NOTE: this report target the Virtual Assistants – which is only part of the emerging voice technologies available today).

While Voice Tech presents a huge potential for so many segments, it seems that one of the challenges the industry will be facing is the lack of proper, well defined, consensual best practices and implementations paradigm.

As an innovative and disruptive technology, VUI is part of many design sprints and innovative workshops, mostly surrounding User Experience (UX), accessibility, efficiency and productivity. ‘Experience’ is key for the envisioned solution, since the VUI brings a new way for us, human beings, to interact with a digital service, device or solution.

We start to witness first releases of design guides, and instructions, mostly within a certain voice platform (Smart Speakers) – aiming at deciphering user engagement with the service, “Skill” or “Action” discovery (these are the “apps” of the smart speaker market place), responsiveness, and more. Many of these guides are aiming at sharing an experience of developing a specific design practice, for instance – see this BBC guide as to building a smart speaker skill for a Children related activity. Another interesting guide, which provides a wider angle in terms of use cases and planning of the VUI is published by Wunderman – a global data and technology design agency.


Image Source: Wunderman post.

While we interact with customers in various segments and use cases, including Retail, Pharma, Transportation, Healthcare, Defense, and more, we believe these aspects of VUI design, would represent the building blocks of a voice technology best practice:

  • How? – How will the user interact with the service? is the voice interface planned to be implemented in a mobile app, smart device, in-store kiosk device, web service?
  • What? – the very basic – what does this service planned to offer – in voice? Salesman capturing opportunity data? Consumer activates smart home? User search and order a product?
  • Triggering – is it an always listening service (requires a wake up word, may be effected by privacy issues) or it needs to be triggered;
  • Data – how does data transaction related to the service. Is it important to keep all data secured privately or it can be shared with a platform cloud vendor?
  • Languages, Accents, User’s Factors – Is the service planed to support different types of users and languages? Will there be elderly and non-tech-savvy users? Will it be expected to work in a loud environment?
  • Content and Context – based on the service provided – will the context be static, dynamic, personalized, etc?
  • Brand \ Persona – does the feedback from the application or service has its own persona (brand, etc), is it a visual, vocal or both;
  • Information – along with the ‘Data’ item above – does the data captured during user’s transaction be used for additional purpose, once e.g. it is analyzed (frequently used terms, time of use, purpose, etc).

We believe that discussing these items is essential when implementing a voice interface – across any use case, and once extracting the specific insights, one could have a better path towards a well deployed voice solution.

What’s next?

If you’re in charge of customer experience, innovation or product – you need to start planning your voice strategy, and there are several articles about it online. Or you can talk to us.

Tukuoro is the Voice Open Platform. The best practices outlined in this article are based on the experience Tukuoro team gained while working with customers, in the various use cases and design discussions.

Reach out to us and learn how to make your interface Voice enabled.

Follow us on TwitterFacebook or LinkedIn.

Contact me for more;


02 May

Customer Experience and Privacy. Reflecting Voice UI Trends for 2019

amir Insights Tags: , , , 0 Comments

As 2018 presented several significant milestones for voice technologies, primarily within the smart speakers’ domain (“Amazon Echo Dot is Still the Most Owned Smart Speaker”, “Google’s smart speaker Rise Narrows the Gap from Amazon”), voice tech trends are being expanded well beyond this use case. Voice is now everywhere, whether in practice, or designed to be. online, offline, across various segments, and use cases. Now is the time to look ahead and discuss the future of voice solutions, technology, trends and user experience.

I will focus on the following aspects of the voice evolution and how they’ll grow during 2019 and onwards:

  • Voice at the Enterprise and Data Ownership Aware.
  • Customer Experience Plays a Major Role.
  • Voice at the Edge, Brick and Mortar Retail and Beyond.

Voice at the Enterprise

While during 2017-2018 voice technology was mostly around making the smart speakers devices part of many homes (in the US, later in Europe), and helping with audience education for the power of voice interfacing and services accessibility (mostly music and simple updates as a weather updates), it becomes clear now that organizations of any segment are exploring ways to apply the Voice User Interface (simply: VUI) within their products or service. We see this is happening mostly in Retail (in store and online, see under Next Generation eCommerce, item 23), Financial Services (from Banks to insurance) and edge devices (from ticketing solutions to smart office interface). This trend is clearly described by Jon Stine in a recent post.

While Smart Speakers eco system has a fairly basic framework (build a “skill” or an “action” to let the consumer’s approach the brand’s service) – leveraging voice functionality within the Enterprise, imposes some fundamental challenges which must be addressed properly to support a healthy VUI adoption and growth:

  • Personal Identifiable Information (PII) and GDPR – the voice functionality within the Enterprise must comply with privacy regulations and should avoid using user’s personal information during the voice transaction. This is a major challenge since the services provided by these organizations will involve user’s personal data – e.g. bank account or insurance account services are strongly tied with the user information. See for instance Google fine for a recent GDPR breach in France and Amazon Alexa and GDPR here.
  • Business Data Ownership Aware – while applying voice interface for consumers or employees with an Enterprise data platform, it’s imperative to keep the data flow process in full control by the Enterprise. Since valuable business information is being processed, no organization can allow that data to be left un-handled, openly available to the platform vendors and external voice services. To my opinion, this is why we don’t see tight integration of voice solutions yet – within fundamental services given by insurance companies for example (link), and more. On the other hand, we saw that Salesforce tries to lead the way for voice within the CRM segment by collaborating within the smart speakers arena – see here, again a limited offering.
  • Additional information concerning Privacy in general with regards to the various digital solutions available in many aspects of our lives is available through this great piece of the New York Time.


Customer Experience Plays a Major Role

Customer Experience in the age of digital transformation and disruptive technologies plays a crucial part in user adoption of these new solutions & services. As technology itself  – referring to the Voice tech – reaches maturity, in terms of accuracy levels, supported use cases, and so on, a major part is users’ adoption of the new technology is the Voice User Experience, or Voice UX.

One can witness several growing design agencies, aiming at helping organizations with their Voice UX design, to make their application appreciated, adopted and used by their respective users. This is a fundamental step in the voice technology evolution, which is still in its infancy stage, and it will continue to grow, until a comprehensive paradigm for designing and implementing voice UX is available as best practice in the industry.

More on VUX, within retail and smart speakers, you will find in this article by Luminary Labs.

Voice at the Edge, Brick and Mortar Retail and Beyond

Mainly in retail, but not just, we witness a significant effort to make the edge device, in the commercial use case, smarter. For various (and obvious) reasons, this is very well manifested within the physical store, or the brick and mortar in retail, where major retailers are either deploying (see Amazon Go), building (See Walmart IRL) or designing smarter shops, for a futuristic in some extent, or technologically advanced in general- shopping experience.

Voice, as the new operating system, is bound to be part of this phase, as eventually the purpose of all tech enhancements and devices deployments is to attract more people to the physical stores, and provide them with a superior experience while shopping. This is true not just for the retailers but also in other segments, from ticketing transportation to vending machines and smart offices.

Applying the voice at the edge device is not a new concept, but with the recent advancements of computational linguistics and NLP, these devices can now add real value to the users, while in the store.

Voice interfaces can and will be used for enhancing the in store experience when it comes to the point of sale (payment inquiries, self service, FAQ), shelf devices (upselling, product information), kiosk stations (in-store navigation, product search) and more.

While store of the future implies reducing staff needed to operate the store and serve customers, the employees’ time will be used to address additional challenges, which will be part of the migration to the technology enhanced store. Voice will play a part on this as well, providing employees with new tools and new tasks – from social media activities, to logistics and support.

Closing Remark – Following this article, describing an intense technology shifts we are currently experiencing, we should also take a moment and consider a less invasive interface alternative, when it is applicable in our lives. Read FJORD insightful report on this matter.

What you should do next?

If you’re in charge of customer experience, innovation or product – you need to start planning your voice strategy, and there are several articles about it online. Or you can talk to us.

Tukuoro is the Voice Open Platform. Every use case and suggested solution described in this article is already deployed at Tukuoro’s customers, or can be deployed using Tukuoro Voice Open Platform technology.

Reach out to us and learn how to make your interface Voice enabled.

Follow us to TwitterFacebook or LinkedIn.

Contact me for more;

22 Apr

Tukuoro’s Amir Tsrouya on voice in commerce: It’s about experience – with privacy

amir Retail Tags: , , 0 Comments

[Originally posted on Linkedin by Jon Stine]

The question of AI-voice in commerce is not whether, but when.

Which means those entrusted with retail and CPG brand performance are now figuring out the where, the how, and the why of this increasingly important technology.

Meet Amir Tsrouya. 

 He’s the co-Founder and CEO of Tukuoro, a Tel Aviv-based voice open platform company (http://tukuoro.com/.) The company’s name means “speaker” in Maori.  The value proposition is simple: it seeks to make every digital interaction voice enabled, in any language, on any platform, and in any use case.   And, they do so through context-driven speech recognition and processing – which, in layman’s terms, means that Tukuoro doesn’t need a large data set for AI learning (and the time it takes to acquire it.)

Since Tukuoro’s founding in 2015, Amir and his colleagues have worked in multiple vertical industries – including, with some very prominent customers, extensive work in retail.

Why voice?  Why voice in commerce?

Voice: the natural interface to today’s world of data

For Amir, it began with an insightful question, borne of his work in IOT: in this world of exponentially growing knowledge, how will humans interface with data and data platforms?

For greatest ease? Greatest efficiency?

“It was clear to us that voice represented a huge leap forward in in the interface,” Amir said. “If we wanted to get deeper in the ways we interact with data, well, voice was the natural thing.”

And it’s a natural thing for commerce.

As Amir talks with retailers and consumer-facing enterprises in Europe, the States, and in Israel, one thing has become clear from his conversations: every brand is searching for ways to deliver a better customer experience.

“Whether we’re talking to government agencies, banks, insurance agencies, even the people who run ticketing machines for public transportation – everyone’s customers are expecting a better experience, and a better service experience across the board.

“A voice interface is right now one of the best ways for any brand to disrupt, to make things easy for customers.”

And, although developing a voice interface is no easy task, Amir makes the case that using Tukuoro may bring a much faster return than other investments currently on a CIO’s list.

But there is a worry.  It’s spelled p-r-i-v-a-c-y.

As the technology evolves, voice interfaces will sound much more natural.  And, as they sound much more natural, they’ll become much more popular.

And, as they become much more popular, they’ll access more and more data. Commercial and Personally Identifiable Information (PII.)

This is of major concern to Amir and his Tukuoro team.  “We must learn to harness the technology,” he said.  “You know, it’s been the dominant thinking that we have to give away our PII and business data in order to obtain decent AI-voice service and access.

“But it should be possible to provide a superior experience for consumers in voice without giving away personal and commercial information. And that is our approach.

“The experience needs to be very superior. And very private for both the consumer and Brand.”

Listen to Amir’s insights at the Israeli startup camel podcast https://soundcloud.com/startupcamel-podcast/tukuoro-amir-tsrouya and follow him here on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amirtsrouya.

Voice in commerce.  Can you hear it coming?

#OpenVoiceNetwork #ConversationalCommerce #MITOpenVoice #AmirTsrouya #tukuoro

30 Aug

Voice User Interaction – Insights of a Voice Layer Solution Vendor.

amir Insights Tags: 0 Comments

Voice. The new frontier.

Voice solutions has been around for nearly 30 years. Here is where I believe the voice solutions are headed.

Voice interfaces initially started as an improved interface for call centers and self service products, over IVR and telephony systems (“say your ID number”). These technologies have improved over the years and have became a stable and pretty standard solution in that segment. Another segment included on-board hardware products, and later on the in – car interactive systems. All were mostly an off line solution, handling the challenge of user interface in a very limited spectrum and functionality. Later, a consumer oriented solutions, using basic speech to text capabilities emerged (see the interesting timeline here)

Then the VPAs (Virtual Personal Assistant) came. Started with SIRI 5 years ago (see this youtube video) – a whole new world of possibilities started for – MAINLY – the smartphone vendors, offering a slightly different, yet still very clumsy way to perform limited action or command based, within the phone itself. As clearly described here, VPA’s today, and to some extent smart speakers (see below), are manufactured by companies with access to our personal data, putting (some of) our context – used during the process.

Recently, we are witnessing a huge growth in every aspects of the voice enabled solutions arena. In addition to the IVR based solutions, we start to see more designated VPAs – per domain or specific topic, see this product hunt list. While each product tries to provide its own unique service, still the focus is in a specific line of data, content or service.

Another, vastly growing domain is the smart speaker. As marked by Mary Meeker in her KPCB’s Internet trends 2016 report, Amazon Echo set the path to a blast of home based, interactive speakers, aiming at building an ecosystem (i.e. Amazon skills) around it, and generating huge interest by all major platform vendors. Google Home, Apple Home Pode, Microsoft’s Cortana based Harman speaker, Baidu’s “Little Fish”, Alibaba’s “Tmall Genie”, Line’s “Clova”, and more.

So, what is next? How will voice be used in more use cases, and market segments?

I would like to suggest 3 insights, to where voice solutions are developing:

  • Personalization. Voice will be used as a personalized platform for advertisers and publishers. We start to witness this trend with some attempts made by e.g. Amazon Echo where voice based purchased is available. Recent analyst reports (most relevant would be Mary Meeker’s 2017 edition of the Internet Trends), and other research agencies start to reflect this change (see for instance the Voice as SEO). Think of an interactive, personalized, voice based advertisement.
  • Transformation. Voice as a major contributor to Digital Transformation. It’s not new that major corporate organizations are eagerly looking for internal and external innovation and disruption, to support a better digital transformation. Voice will be used to support this change, by helping the organization provide a better service, improved internal data management and productivity.
  • Voice enabled IoT. Voice layers will be part of many interactions between the user and his \ her connected device. One can imagine a user speaking to his smart home control, refrigerator and any other sensor. Making voice interaction will be widely used, and not only focused on a certain commercial platform device (Smart speaker).

Voice is the new User Interface. There is no question about it. But as we are making so many exciting changes, and as voice interface is paving its way into the tech mainstream, some challenges remains:

  • Making the interaction intuitive for the user.
  • Building a positive user experience, for the voice interaction.
  • Making interaction accurate. This is probably the most important element, which will make voice work.

At Tukuoro, we believe that voice should be easily enabled as well as provide a great experience for the end users, anywhere they are. At home, in their car, when traveling to their next client visit, when generating report etc.

Reach out to us and learn how to make your interface Voice enabled.

Follow us to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Contact me for more;

30 Aug

Now is the time for European Corporate to embrace Israeli innovation.

amir Insights Tags: 0 Comments

In the past few months I have been travelling to Europe several times, meeting with different market segment customers, and discussing some very interesting ideas with corporate representatives.

A couple of weeks ago Tukuoro attended the Viva Technology event in Paris, after being selected by Valeo Automotive to present Tukuoro’s innovative voice layer as part of its Tech Lab – “Automotive 2025”.

Europe is strongly embracing innovation.

In this short post I will share my thoughts and experience from Viva Tech, why I believe startups are playing a vital role and where are the opportunities for small companies (and for corporation).

There is nothing new with the notion that given the speed of which new technologies emerges and disrupt existing practice, the corporate organizations all over the world invest a lot of thinking (and resources) to better understand how they should adopt and incorporate these new technologies, to help them grow, but more importantly, to keep them still relevant.

One simple evidence is the growing number of a new, usually executive, role in almost every corporate company – Head of Innovation.

Applying new approaches, practices and technologies require intentional effort from the corporate and is never easy, yet seems that there is a growing understanding within these organizations that they have to change or cease existing.

During Viva Technology event, which took place in June, 2017 in Paris, it became very clear to me that the quest for new technologies is genuine. The event was packed throughout all hours of the day, from 9 am to nearly 8 pm.

Visitors kept coming, walking through the various vendor booths, labs and listening to different lectures. Though it was mostly French oriented, the entire event was in English, making all visitors and exhibitors from other places feel very comfortable.

Though exhibiting within Valeo, an automotive vendor leader, Tukuoro had numerous conversations with customers and partners of different segments, from retail, to financial, to IoT, transportation and many more.

Beyond the clear interest in Voice solutions through our conversation, it was my experience that the French visitors are ready to make business!

 Factory Berlin

I had the same experience during the 3 days TLVWeek workshop in Berlin, last December. Tukuoro took part in 3 days of presentations, talks, workshops and keynote, in the fabulous Factory Berlin, aiming at bringing local German industry and business leaders, together with local and Israeli startup founders – in the same place for direct, in formal talks about innovation.

During that event, we all witnessed the open approach for new ideas, innovative technologies and readiness for making changes, evaluating new concepts and making startup-vendors partnerships.

A similar atmosphere exists in other places through Europe, making it a great launch pad for every startup.

At Tukuoro, we believe that voice should be easily enabled as well as provide a great experience for the end users, anywhere they are. At home, in their car, when traveling to their next client visit, when generating report etc.

Reach out to us and learn how to make your user interface Voice Enabled.

Follow us to Twitter;

Contact me for more;

07 Mar

The Voice Revolution- Not only @home. Everywhere.

amir Uncategorized 0 Comments


Andrew Bartels wrote a great post recently — “Why buying Quip might be the best acquisition Salesforce has ever made”.

Andrew’s main argument was that Quip will become the new UI, due to the integration with big-data services and AI.

But it’s my opinion that there’s a catch. “Imagine a world where a Sales Professional could open an app on his notebook, tablet or phone and start taking notes”. The premise is that road warrior, sales people will type in their notes, allowing the smart virtual apparatus running in the background to kick in.

That will not happen and for a good reason. It has also never happened before either and for the same reason: The main obstacle is indeed the UI: Users do not type in everything they do. That’s the main problem Salesforce is facing. With mobile devices and smaller UI real-estate, the problem is much bigger.

So what is the missing link between the data input and the huge benefits of big data & AI?

A UI that works… and more specifically our voice UI.

We have witnessed a huge hype circling the Voice Enabled solutions. Alexa Skills and Google Home – the voice enabled devices; Virtual Personal Assistance for every specific usage you may think of and even in car Voice interaction system – for an improved driving experience. There are even some discussions about the nature of the voice of each helper.

But the change we experience in our interaction with the devices has to be beyond a very cool feature, which works in English mainly and could help me turn on the lights.

We all remember the CLI in the 70`s moving on to the GUI in the 90`s. Well, GUI had a good run for a couple of decades but clearly it cannot become a usable interface for users in the new era. The era where mobile devices are getting smaller (smartphones), wearable devices (smart watch, etc.) soon become a commodity and IoT devices, well, they don’t even have screen at all!

Another angle to this change in User Experience is the BOTs massive growth in many different usages and segments, mainly for consumer engagement (based on facebook and other platform) and some on Enterprise use (e.g. Slack). The BOTs are actually bringing the GUI back to the days of CLI phase – where users are required to actually type (text only input\output).

It’s only logical to assume that the next phase in human-bot interaction will be voice. Clearly the time has come for VUI – the Voice User Interface. For instance see  Mary Meeker’s recent state of the internet report: “Voice Should be the most efficient form of computing input”

Another impending discussion is whether voice can be a general good-for-all input interface (relying on semantics and AI in the background) or does it require specific context for each domain/application.

My view is that in order for VUI to be productive and reliable to its users, voice input processing must be used within a context.

It is one thing to expect a virtual assistance or home device to understand a specific, pre defined, narrow “command” or syntax such as “where is the nearest restaurant” or “turn on lights”. But it is something completely different to have it recognize accurately invented words, company’s internal lingo, people with accent or talking in the real world in a noisy environment (try using your in-car voice system with kids in the back).

Context is the main issue here. User’s voice input needs to be processed within its own context, be it the company, business related context, personal one, language and so on.

Only once VUI has become reliable and accurate, will it be used to improve productivity by the people on the go, the mobile workforce for every company size or domain, as well as by their customers.

End user’s adoption of new tech solutions for out-of-office or off-the-desk time are an everlasting challenge for any CRM and other customer engagement platforms. New suggested solutions, such as Quip which still rely on user typing data, simply won’t do the job. Executing AI and other analytics in the backend is great – provided that the data was inputted by the users. If we want to break the GIGO paradigm, we must provide a better way to input the data.

At Tukuoro, we believe that voice should be easily enabled and provide a great experience for the end users, anywhere they are. At home, in their car, when traveling to their next client visit, when generating report etc. Join us for the voice revolution, make your app Voice enabled.

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