Voice Assistants

The world’s first Voice Assistants as a Service platform

“It’s 2020. Why is it still so complex to add a Voice Assistant to apps?”

This was the question that I was asked during an interaction with voice enthusiasts gathered in Bangalore.

General-purpose Voice Assistants have been the rage ever since Alexa burst into the scene in 2014. While Alexa and Google Assistant proved the value of voice as an interface to getting things done, most of the actual digital interactions are still happening with apps — mobile and web apps.

Since then, many brands have added Voice Assistants to their apps, but the process of adding them has remained…

Custom In-App Voice Assistants

Want to build a custom Voice Assistant for your app? Do NOT build one from scratch. It's harder than it looks

Voice as an interface is becoming more mainstream. Most likely the reader has experienced Voice interfaces when interacting with general-purpose Assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant or Siri. More and more brands are also adding custom In-App Voice Assistants to their mobile and web apps to enable their users to access their services faster and a lot easier. But building a custom In-App Voice Assistant is deceptively complex and requires multiple people working with different skill sets, working together for many months. Flipkart took 2 years to build its In-App Voice Assistant, even after acquiring a specialist Voice company, Liv.ai

Voice shopping is here. Many large players like Amazon, Flipkart, Big Basket, and Jio have started experimenting with it. Here are some of the key ways in which e-Commerce players are powering their user’s online shopping journey with Voice.

The last month was an exciting time in the Indian e-commerce ecosystem. Two years after their acquisition of Liv.ai, one of the earliest voice players in India, Flipkart launched their multi-lingual Voice Assistant (in English and Hindi) in their app, which enables its users to now talk to their app to search and place an order.

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Amazon had also recently rolled…


Search is instrumental on the internet. Voice as a medium of interaction with it has grown significantly. Similarly, mobile and web apps too, have many similar search characteristics that would benefit from in-app Voice Search and improve overall customer experience.

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Search transformed the Internet as we know it. Made it accessible to one and all. It was the sane entry point to an otherwise chaotic universe. What started as a predominantly keyword-driven activity (“Rajinikanth 2020”, “Bangalore restaurants vegetarian best”), has evolved into more complex natural style queries (“most recent Rajinikanth movie”, “restaurants near me that serve best vegetarian food”). Over…

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A lot happened in 2019 and we wanted to share the same with the world. Some of the moments were high, and some were lows. But that’s what makes a journey interesting. The constant but opposing forces of positivity/progress/optimism with the negativity/downsides/doubts and we are thankful that the former keeps winning most of the time, propelling us forward constantly.

Let’s start with the lows.

We lost almost all our early adopter customers from last year, with whom we were doing or discussing a POC, during the first half of the year.

Now that’s a biggie. What are we still doing…

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We have been working on a lot of interesting features but never talked much about it, other than to the customers with whom we work closely. We wanted to change that, and open up a bit more about what we have been up to. Here is the first installment of those updates. Hope you find it as interesting as we found it exciting building it.

New Translucent UI

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VAX or Voice Augmented eXperience is the concept of augmenting or enhancing an existing experience (usually GUI and/or touch-based app) with voice.

Why Voice?

Human-Computing Interfaces have evolved a long way since the early days of the punch cards.

(Originally published at thoughtsonandroid.blogspot.com on June 11 2012)

Come on.. one more blog ‘focussed’ on Android ? More cross posting of other people’s findings to satisfy ones own sense of “contribution” or “recognition” ? Does the world really need this ? (and that too from a person who doesnt know that there should be no space before the ‘?’ in all his sentences).

Yes. I understand all that. But then if only I listened to all the sane advices in the world, I would not be where I am today :-) And so am going to be a bull and…

(originally published on 24th Aug 2007 here)

Currently my team is involved in migrating a large heirarchical database onto the x86_64 (AMD64) platform running Linux. The source platform is 32 bit Linux running on x86.

One of the challenges of this port was that this involved migrating assembly files and it also involves generating executable code. Since these are very platform/processor specific functionalities, the port involved understanding the finer aspects of x86_64 and also how different it is from the erstwhile x86 platform.

For starters, we find that the ABI has changed a bit, esp when it comes to calling…

(originally published on 22nd June 2008 here)

Fancy name caught your imagination :) It caught mine and it stuck.

Basically my idea of parallel debugging is debugging two but similar applications, and having a central way to control them :-) Not really what you had in mind eh .. :)

But why is this important ? Let me explain.

Have you ever tried making changes to an application and it caused a regression in some place unexpected ? Every day right ? How do you debug such changes ? I debug them by running both the unmodified and the modified…

Kumar Rangarajan

Obsessive Dictator @ Slang Labs. Earlier co-founded Little Eye Labs, which was acquired by Facebook. A die-hard Illaiyaraja fan and still believes in AAP.

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