Voice first devices invade Hong Kong Electronics Fair
Trendwoo (Photo Credit – Leor Grebler, 2018)
Ozwi (Photo Credit – Leor Grebler, 2018)
Teaching Robot (Photo Credit – Leor Grebler, 2018)
HeNa (Photo Credit – Leor Grebler, 2018)
I recently had the chance to meet up with Leor Grebler, co-founder & CEO of Unified Computer Intelligence Corporation (UCIC), just back from a speaking engagement at SpeechTEK 2018 in Washington, D.C. followed by an arduous trip to Hong Kong for the Global Sources and Hong Kong Electronics Fair.
Leor’s company, UCIC, is dedicated to bringing voice interaction to hardware. It’s initial product – Ubi – The Ubiquitous Computer – was a voice-activated computing device that offered instant access to information and control of home automation devices and was the first product to offer natural environment-based voice interaction. Leor steers UCIC towards its goal of making interaction with technology more human and natural.
Leor’s 2018 presentation at SpeechTEK was entitled Beyond Ambient Voice. The presentation opened with the premise that far-field devices that support conversational voices are providing information and commerce to the home, asking that with hundreds of electronic devices on the market, where are the next opportunities for companies to add voice interaction to their products? Also outlined were the different information sources that can be used to enhance the interaction and the intelligence of assistants. Leor discussed what interaction with our homes and environments look like in three years and answered how today’s developers can start planning for this.
In Hong Kong at the Electronics Fair, Leor noted the every IoT device was showcasing how it could be controlled through Alexa and/or Google Assistant and more than half of the speaker companies on the show floor (and a larger proportion of those with some market share) had devices interactived with voice. Leor commented, “The biggest trend observed at the show was wireless earbuds. Many companies seem to be following the AirPod lead, offering up recharging cases together with these devices. We’ll likely see many of these hit CES in January.”