Goodbye Airbud, Hello Hyro

A New Brand for a Broader Vision

Israel Krush
Feb 4 · 5 min read

When we first set out on our mission to spawn a truly conversational AI solution back in 2018, it seemed clear that if we were to create any sort of splash, we would need to strategically choose just one pond to swim in. We understood at our core, right from the starting line, that we had a revolutionary service to offer; now we just needed to establish who would benefit the most from its success.

Following some research, customer interviews and endless discussions, we came to the conclusion that by completely streamlining the process of finding and booking flights with virtual assistants, we could tremendously impact the travel industry. The motivation behind conversational AI was clear; enterprises crave new methods of engagement with travelers across all their digital channels, and it’s daunting to create those solutions internally. So naturally, when we landed on the travel-influenced name Airbud (your air-travel buddy), we were fairly satisfied.

Truthfully, we felt as if we’d landed a great name, and besides, our focus remained on polishing our product; we were launching fast, collecting critical feedback from customers, and iterating accordingly.

What none of us Israeli co-founders knew is that our recently founded company shared its name with a 14-film Disney franchise that revolves around the adventures of a slam-dunking Golden Retriever who was adored by American children. We shouldn’t sell him short though, Airbud actually played soccer, football, baseball and volleyball as well. Even in outer space.

Surprisingly, that’s not the reason we decided to rename and redefine our brand.

We weren’t wrong in our assessment that conversational AI could amplify digital engagement for the travel industry, but we couldn’t predict how quickly the demand for it would skyrocket across entirely different verticals. As we fostered our initial travel-centric client base, new opportunities from the realms of retail, telecom, government and especially healthcare came knocking at our door. Amid the noise, we had that lightning bolt eureka moment.

No matter the industry, all enterprises share identical challenges:

Organizations need a better way to communicate with their customers.

Manual service is costly and doesn’t scale easily across channels.

Customers are tired of being misunderstood by mediocre chatbots.

We realized that our quest to navigate digital touch-points through simple conversation is universal, for all companies and the customers they strive to serve.

The name Airbud, as much as our affection towards it grew, has become limiting, no longer reflecting who we are as a company. Though we’re still very much committed to our mission of revolutionizing the world of travel, we now recognize that our potential in any industry is boundless.

We need a name that appreciates that limitlessness and speaks to our wide range of conversational abilities. We need a name that represents who we are as a solution and brand; simple and intuitive. Above all, we need a name that echoes our vision — to power natural language as the fuel of artificial intelligence.

And that’s why we’re choosing Hyro.

Other than being eloquent and bold, Hyro stems from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, one of the oldest recorded languages known to humankind, and a revolutionary means of communication in its day.

We often complain about different dialects and modern slang in English, but even as early as 3000 B.C. hieroglyphics was an unnecessarily complicated language.

  • Thousands of symbols.
  • Some represented sounds (phonograms), other’s signified entire words (ideograms).
  • It could be written in almost any direction; right to left, left to right, top to bottom or even diagonally.
  • Zero punctuation.

Confusing right? Many languages are, both old and new. It took seasoned scribes, expensive and rare, to break down these linguistic barriers for the masses.

Fast forward to 2020 — we’re breaking down those same types of barriers for artificial intelligence to properly understand natural language, which can be as beautifully complex as hieroglyphics. Conversational solutions are typically built from limited, intent-based flows and rely heavily on machine learning (ML) techniques — which means that deploying conversational AI assistants requires tons of training data for each use case. By modeling a specific use-case and not the entire language, those systems don’t end up truly comprehending the language; in the world of hieroglyphics, it’s the equivalent of recognizing a handful of symbols out of thousands.

Natural Language Understanding is at the core of our ability to comprehend those customers, which ultimately ensures the capability and trust required to navigate and guide them. Our constant determination to provide coveted value no matter where customers are along their digital journey is what led us to the north star as our logo

— on any channel, whenever and wherever there is the need to locate or transfer information, or execute tasks, or perform a search, or just talk — your company and your customers can look to Hyro.

Nothing has changed in terms of our current conversational AI. We’re still a plug & play solution, automating the launch process of conversational interfaces over any platform, service or device with unprecedented speed. We’re still zero maintenance, providing the elasticity and agility required to help you easily scale without taxing business efforts. Most importantly, we’re still leveraging powerful Natural Language Understanding for conversational experiences that’ll guide your customers and keep them engaged- and now our brand echoes that idea.

This is just the beginning for us. Turning the world conversational is an ambitious venture, and we’ve got our work cut out for us.

Thank you to all who have been a part of our ever-growing story so far. And for those digitally transformative companies who have conversational AI in their stars, know that a stellar customer journey starts with Hyro.


So, what now? Celebrate with us. Check out our new website. Subscribe to our newsletter. Be part of the evolution of conversation, customer or not.

Looking forward to the future,

Israel, Rom, Uri and the rest of the Hyro family

Hyro

Hyro takes complex data and turns it into simple dialogue for customers, helping them accomplish their tasks across all digital channels. Join businesses in healthcare, travel, retail and beyond already using Hyro’s conversational AI 🗣💬

Israel Krush

Written by

Hyro

Hyro

Hyro takes complex data and turns it into simple dialogue for customers, helping them accomplish their tasks across all digital channels. Join businesses in healthcare, travel, retail and beyond already using Hyro’s conversational AI 🗣💬

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