Why voice is the next big internet wave

Originally posted on Gigaom:

At first glance, few technologies feel as unsexy as voice. From a user’s perspective, little has changed since the days of Alexander Graham Bell. Most see voice as a mature technology that simply connects people in real-time across a distance. But voice is experiencing a wave of innovation that will fundamentally alter this definition.

During Mobile World Congress, Jae-woan Byun, the CTO of SK Telecom, condemned current voice offerings as “boring for users” but promised a “second tsunami” that could change everything.

The first tsunami was about messaging. It swept away SMS volumes and revenues and resulted in the kind of valuation that Facebook placed on WhatsApp. Thanks to the elimination of the historical limitations that telephony placed on voice, we are already sensing the shockwaves of the next tectonic shift.

Voice will be:

Available every “wear.” Voice is fast becoming a primary interface for wearable technology. Voice will soon…

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With A Voice Interface API For Any App, Wit.ai Wants To Be The Twilio For Natural Language


I’ve been working in and around the voice space for a while now, that’s probably why I notice the news in voice technology funding, acquisitions and the like. Voice as an API and natural language tech definitely sparking interest.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Last year, voice technology giant Nuance quietly acquired VirtuOz , a developer of virtual assistants for online sales, marketing and support — a “Siri for the enterprise” that counted with the likes of PayPal and AT&T as customers. Now, Alexandre Lebrun, the founder and CEO of VirtuOz, has taken a dive back into the startup world to launch Wit.ai , a platform and API that will let a developer incorporate speech recognition and a natural language interface into any app or piece of hardware.

In Lebrun’s words, the idea here is to apply, effectively, a “Twilio or Stripe model” to the world of voice interfaces, where Wit is able to understand the intent of users, as well voice recognition.

Developers who want to incorporate this into their apps entering a few lines of Wit.ai code; for the first time, the developers themselves do not have to be experts in the field…

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JFDI Accelerator Raises $2.1M To Help Singapore Become Southeast Asia’s Startup Hub


This is the best name for an accelerator. Makes me smile every time I see them in the news.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Singapore’s Joyful Frog Digital Incubator has raised $2.1 million from investors led by Infocomm Investments to pursue the city state’s ambitions of becoming the startup hub for all of South East Asia.

Russia’s SpinUp Partners and the Silicon Valley-based Fenox are among other investors participating in the latest round. The idea behind getting more overseas investors is to gain from their expertise and collaborate.

“In Russia, we have talented startup teams and capital seeking access to world markets. Singapore is the gateway to Asia for us and we look forward to working closely with JFDI.Asia into the future,” Sergey Gorokhov, Director and Chairman of the Board at SpinUp Partners said in a statement.

The funding will be used to incubate more startup ideas in the region, and is part of the accelerator’s aim to raise around $4.7 million in total capital. The new funding will also be used to support the upcoming…

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Mozilla Cancels Firefox For Metro, Cites Fewer Than 1,000 Daily Active Users


Remember when browser wars used to be fought on M$FT Desktops

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Mozilla today announced that it will halt development of its Firefox for Windows 8 Metro browser after about a year and a half of development.

According to Mozilla’s Firefox VP Jonathan Nightingale, the organization has never seen more than 1,000 active daily users for the Metro app, so in order to free up resources for products that have traction, Mozilla has decided to pull the plug on this project. Mozilla’s other pre-release version of Firefox, he says, are being tested by millions of users.

“Mozilla builds software to make the world better, but we have to pick our battles,” Nightingale writes. “We’re not as tiny as we were when we shipped Firefox 1.0, but we still need to focus on the projects with the most impact for our mission; the massive scale of our competitors and of the work to be done requires us to marshal our forces appropriately.”

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Op3nvoice wants to be the Google of the visual and vocal web


Good piece @op3nvoice @prmurphy

Originally posted on Gigaom:

The text-based web of the last 25 years is evolving into an ever more visual web where pictures and videos dominate. Just look at how many apps there are to make movies or beautiful slideshows of our personal photos, or the success of sites like Pinterest or Snapchat. After all, we have the means to consume richer files thanks to abundant bandwidth and create them now that so many people own video cameras in the form of a smartphone.

But unlike the text-based web, searching the visual web is tough. That’s one reason why so many companies are working on computer vision. But in the meantime, there’s an excellent way to categorize videos and make them searchable — use audio. That’s what startup Op3nVoice is trying to do with an API it plans to launch in two weeks.

The Austin, Texas-based company is trying to become the Google of…

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Now Serving 4M Downloads Daily, The Windows Store Has Grown 135% Since October


Alongside IDC’s prediction that Microsoft will be at 8% marketshare by 2017 , further evidence that Microsofts strategy is encroaching into Apple and Samsung’s market

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Buried in its MWC slides, Microsoft announced that it now serves 4 million application downloads daily from the Windows Store, the application marketplace for Windows 8.x.

Four million downloads per day works out to 120 million per month, or around 1.4 billion per year. The number essentially slipped past the larger media radar — props to wind8apps! — which means even though a few days have passed, we have work to do.

(Previously, Microsoft listed detailed download information for the Windows Store on the developer portal. Once I started covering the data, Microsoft first limited it, and then yanked it altogether. The company promised to keep developers up to date regarding the Windows Store. Thus far two blog posts have been produced in the nearly three-month intervening period. But I digress.)

The last month for which we have full data was October, prior to the holiday sales cycle…

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Depending On Price, The Samsung Gear Fit Could Dominate The Wearables Market

This gallery contains 24 photos.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:
Forget about the rest of Samsung’s MWC offerings. The Gear Fit is about the most exciting product announced in Barcelona today. It’s the first Samsung wearable that has a legitimate chance of catching on. The Fit…

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Microsoft are coming to the mobile enterprise

Last week was the first time I had seriously heard a corporate buyer saying that Microsoft were the front runner in a bake off for blackberry replacement .

With the recent announcement of enterprise features they really seem to be moving quickly in the right direction.

2016 prediction for smartphone in the enterprise ?

1. Samsung / Android
2. Nokia/ Microsoft windows phone
3. Apple / IoS

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The head of IBM’s Watson group joins an early-stage VC


Watch this fund

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Manoj Saxena, the former head of IBM’s Watson business unit has joined The Entrepreneur’s Fund , a Silicon Valley venture firm that makes early stage investments. There Saxena will lead investments in cognitive computing apps, especially those built on the Watson data analytics platform. We’ve covered the launch of cognition as a service and machine learning in multiple stories , and can’t wait to see those investments. Saxena will also act as advisor to IBM’s own Watson fund and co-invest with it.

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