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Can you ask my (digital) assistant to do that?

Jan 20, 2018 · 3 min read

Digital assistants are for sure a rising trend. Cortana, Siri, Alexa are the “top of the mind” at least for me, and also are very popular given their multiple usages. I am pretty sure that “Alexa, set the timer in 15 minutes”, is the phrase I use the most in my household when I am cooking because I am usually alone when I do it. It is nice to have a backup memory for those simple things like to remember to turn off the oven, something that in my twenties I would never have forgotten. Now, in my way the to the middle thirties, every help is welcomed.

A few months ago, I read an article about the most helpful Alexa’s features. I started to read it thinking about how underused our Alexa could be at home. Turns out that I wasn’t giving it to Alexa a very different usage than the described in that article.

I recently attended an Artificial Intelligence seminary, where scientist and expert in the field were making jokes about our daily interactions with Siri or Alexa because you can’t have an actual conversation with those devices. “They” misunderstand our words, and also, it kind of annoying to have to say its names to start every phrase instead just say “thanks”. Everybody laughed. It was funny because it’s true. But maybe the misunderstood came from our side, considering the high expectations that we had created around on those devices.

When we started to design Focoosin’s assistant, FocooSir, we had some clues about our potential user’s need to receive reminders to activate Focoosin Play, the feature that actually tells you how long did you were working on a given task. We know that in a competitive field as software as services, there are similar tools to do that.

The gap that we are filling with FocooSir as a smart assistant is not about to develop a more complex technology, it is about helping users to be able to remember to push the play button on their task to provide data to the software, to get accurate reports about their work’s performance. That’s is.

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FocooSir helps our users to remember to register their working hours.

The gap is still on our side as users, but in Focoosin we want to solve that, considering that our core concept is that no one should be worried remembering how many hours they worked on a project and then have to fill a timesheet by hand every Friday with that info. I think I haven’t known anyone who actually enjoys doing that.

Even today, we had identified that companies are still struggling with registering their worked hours properly because they forget to use the tools they have to do that!

We were surprised when we discovered that; after all the work we did, our value proposition is focused on something so simple, and at the same time, so important for most of the companies: to register working hours accurately and effortless.

Despite jokes, digital assistants have a lot of things to learn, and this will be the challenge for those who are designing new technologies. We have to be able to discover the gaps that are emerging every day, giving an intuitive solution to users and keep it simple as much as we can.

Paulina from Focoosin

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