World News:

Google and Qualcomm are betting on smart earbuds
Google and Qualcomm announced that they have partnered to build a development kit for Assistant-enabled headphones. This will allow second and third-tier manufacturers to add a voice assistant (the Google Assistant) to their headphones. A way for Google to push for the adoption of its assistant while the demand for voice assistance on-the-go is increasing. Link (Techcrunch)

Voicify raises $2 million for code-free voice app development
Shortly after Voiceflow announced raising $3 million (This Week in Voice #6), yet another company offering code-free voice app development raised money. This time this is Voicify who focuses on the “enterprise” segment of the market. While there are more and more investments in the space, let’s not forget that  Invocable (formerly Storyline) went belly up (This Week in Voice #5) and that PullString was acquired by Apple at a fire-sale price, with investors losing their shirts in the process. Link (Voicebot)

Google Assistant finally got integrated on Sonos devices
Owners of a Sonos speaker had until now only one assistant on offer: Alexa. Now, they could choose between either the Amazon or the Google assistant. An agreement that appears like a win-win for both parties (less for Alexa though): Google increases its reach with access to high-end devices while Sonos doesn’t fear off those wanting another assistant than Alexa. Link (Techcrunch)

European News:

Alexa in elderly homes in the UK
Consulting company the Digital Line along with Amazon had a four-weeks trial which introduced Alexa-enabled devices in elderly homes with a focus on bedridden residents and those affected by dementia. The results were rather positive. Be it to play audiobooks, set reminder for medication or simply control the lights, the residents, as well as the caregivers, were pleased. Link (The Digital Line)

Is this Advertising? Get free Bacardi Sample via Google Assistant in Germany
Advertising via Voice Assistants is clearly top of mind of many brands…not to forget the platforms like Alexa and Google. Recently, users have been able to order a free rum sample directly to their assistant. The company assures that only users above 18 are targeted. A new and interesting way to connect with and engage with an interesting audience. Nutella did the same in the U.S. some time ago…but I’m more the Bacardi type ;-). Link (Voicebot)

 

Alexis Hue

Alexis Hue

Alexis is the founder of Voice & You, a boutique consulting agency where he advises brands on how to utilize Voice to increase their competitive advantage. Part-time venture capitalist, part-time entrepreneur, and originally from France, Alexis now lives in Berlin.