Siri’s Status

Last week Apple held their 2020 WWDC conference announcing a variety of major updates for the new iOS 14 operating system. As part of the presentation they shared a new design for Siri along with some new key features (more below). Despite the well received updates, the question remains: Where is Apple’s voice services strategy headed? We had been hoping this would be the year of the Apple Voice App marketplace, but it seems that they may have other plans focused on hardware and native capabilities in mind first. However, that hasn’t stopped companies from leveraging the possibilities of the assistant where possible today such as 7-Eleven’s recent payment integration. While we still believe a greater developer ecosystem is in the cards for Siri, Apple is continuing to take it’s time and fine tune their assistant before heading there.  

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Siri’s New Features

At Apple’s WWDC conference they announced new features and capabilities for Siri. The largest update is the overall design of the assistant both in visual representation and the way the assistant serves up information to users. Requests are now delivered less intrusively and application launches by the assistant have been made more seamless. Additionally, Apple shared a new translation feature powered by Siri which can work offline. In terms of usage, it was also noted that Siri now serves 25 billion requests per month. More on The Verge

Suki’s S3 Upgrade

Clinician-focused voice assistant Suki has launched a new version of its core technology, called Suki Speech Service or S3. The upgraded software allows for improved language understanding, enhanced intent parsing, better command accuracy and faster interactions. According to MobiHealthNews, “The tool also adds new capabilities such as ICD-10 coding, App Orchard integration and an Android version of its mobile app.” More on MobiHealthNews

Smart Mice

Chinese technology company Xiaomi has rolled out a new mouse product with voice-enabled AI onboard. The product is the result of a successful crowdfunding campaign effort and suggests that Xiaomi is treating the initiative as an opportunity to test voice control in more product types focused on productivity. According to SCMP, “it can record and transcribe your messages, help control smart home products and even act as a translator.” More on SCMP Abacus.

Stats Don’t Lie

32.5% daily use of 3rd-party voice apps by smart speaker owners, up 16% from January 2020. (data via Bret Kinsella on Voice Talks)

65% increase in worldwide Amazon Alexa skill usage over the last two months. (data via GeekWire)

Chart of the Week

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(Voicebot AI)