Weekly Braindump (3): VR, AI, VoiceFirst, Siri, IoT, and Smart Mobility

VR

Finally got round to buying a VR headset to use with my iPhone and wow — insane! Downloaded a few apps to test and spent the entire evening in my VR world. The quality was ok but the experience was fully immersive and really felt I was interacting with content on a different dimension. I picked up a Tepoinn 3D VR Headset from Amazon for £13.99, they were £69.99, so a mega saving, follow link below to view/buy on Amazon…

AI

Probably the hottest buzzword right now but not seeing much in the way of pure AI products and/or services. Its not as tangible as VR or other technologies as a lot of the time its the brains behind the service that powers the tech in our hands. A big shout out to a local company called rainbird.ai who’ve just gone through a rebrand with the awesome guys at The Click Design Consultants (theclickdesign.com).

VoiceFirst

Huge fan of #voiceFirst and Alexa (in the UK) is leading the way (10,000 skills / 24.5M to be shipped in ‘17) and seem to have a first-mover advantage over Google Home who still hasn’t launched in the UK yet! There are rumours of Samsung Hello launching a rival to Alexa and Google so this space is hotting up right now. There are different use cases for voice and here are some companies and their uses…

Starling Bank (starlingbank.com), a challenger bank, has integrated with Google Home so you can voice control your bank, see video demo…

Santander App Enables Voice Banking…

Sony will be the first to get the Google Assistant built in so you can voice control your TV…

Ford is going to put Amazon Alexa in cars starting later this year…

Starbucks adds voice first ordering to iPhone and Amazon Alexa…

The list goes on! Alongside text-based chatbots, voice is growing more and more popular and will definitely be the number one way we interact with our digital services. There will be a place for chatbots but for a frictionless experience, voice first is the easiest and most natural way of communicating with something.

Siri

The last thing to note is thanks to Apple’s SiriKit more of our favourite apps will integrate with Siri. There are already a load of apps that you can use with Siri (you may need to adjust your Siri settings to enable it) and here’s a full list of apps you can try out now…

I’ve been testing an Alexa Echo for a month now which has made me use Siri more! Its weird, because i’m getting used to talking to technology, the thought of asking Siri before, in public, would have been crazy, but now, I don’t mind and use it allot in the car, setting timers, controlling music etc, so Alexa has helped me adopt the technology making it easier for me to convert to its competitor!

IoT

No real huge movements here other than what voice is doing — which is connecting up the dots — Alexa or Google Home is the missing piece to your IoT puzzle giving you full control over all your home devices.

I spotted a British Gas Hive advert on TV this week promoting their Smart Home solution which means you can control your heating / hot water from your phone, sort of like Nest but cheaper and integrated with your service provider. The bit they left off the advert (which I googled later) is they’ve built an Amazon Echo Skill meaning you can control your heating with your voice. A far better pitch than old fashioned ‘control it with your mobile’ — so 2016!

https://www.hivehome.com/alexa

Smart Mobility

Problem — too many cars on the road = congestion, pollution, overcrowded car parks, cost to drivers, cost to employers, cost to councils… #badtimes
Solution — stop making cars = NO, make more roads = NO, stop travel = NO, share cars = YES! #goodtimes

Look around, most cars commute with 1 person driving so 4 commuters = 4 cars with the same destination! Get those 4 to share 1 car = removed 3 cars from the road = reduce congestion, save money (fuel, tax, insurance), save the environment (less CO2) and reduce overcrowding at car parks. Oh, and here’s an awesome company that solves this problem perfectly…

Great article on the car ownership and sharing options available..

Hope you enjoyed this article, please feel free in sharing and commenting, good or bad, I’d love to hear your thoughts too.