Tag Archives: Android

Smartphone AI Digital Assistant Encroaching on the Virtual Receptionist

Businesses already exist which have developed and sell Virtual Receptionist , that handle many caller needs (e.g. call routing).

However, AI Digital Assistants such as Alexa, Cortana, Google Now, and Siri have an opportunity to stretch their capabilities even further.  Leveraging technologies such as Natural language processing (NLP) and Speech recognition (SR), as well as APIs into the Smartphone’s OS answer/calling capabilities, functionality can be expanded to include:

  • Call Screening –  The digital assistant asks for the name of the caller,  purpose of the call, and if the matter is “Urgent
    • A generic “purpose” response, or a list of caller purpose items can be supplied to the caller, e.g. 1) Schedule an Appointment
    • The smartphone’s user would receive the caller’s name, and the purpose as a message back to the UI from the call, currently in a ‘hold’ state,
    • The smartphone user may decide to accept the call, or reject the call and send the caller to voice mail.
  • Call / Digital Assistant Capabilities
    • The digital assistant may schedule a ‘tentative’ appointment within the user’s calendar.  The caller may ask to schedule a meeting, the digital assistant would access the user’s  calendar to determine availability.  If calendar indicates availability, a ‘tentative’ meeting will be entered.  The smartphone user would have a list of tasks from the assistant, and one of the tasks is to ‘affirm’ availability of the meetings scheduled.
    • Allow recall of ‘generally available’ information.  If a caller would like to know the address of the smartphone user’s office, the Digital Assistant may access a database of generally available information, and provide it.  The Smartphone user may use applications like Google Keep, and any note tagged with a label “Open Access” may be accessible to any caller.
    • Join the smartphone user’s social network, such as LinkedIn. If the caller knows the phone number of the person, but is unable to find the user through the social network directory, an invite may be requested by the caller.
    • Custom business workflows may also be triggered through the smartphone, such as “Pay by Phone”.

Hey Siri, Ready for an Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple? Guess Who’s Suing.

The AI personal assistant with the “most usage” spanning  connectivity across all smart devices, will be the anchor upon which users will gravitate to control their ‘automated’ lives.  An Amazon commercial just aired which depicted  a dad with his daughter, and the daughter was crying about her boyfriend who happened to be in the front yard yelling for her.  The dad says to Amazon’s Alexa, sprinklers on, and yes, the boyfriend got soaked.

What is so special about top spot for the AI Personal Assistant? Controlling the ‘funnel’ upon which all information is accessed, and actions are taken means the intelligent ability to:

  • Serve up content / information, which could then be mixed in with advertisements, or ‘intelligent suggestions’ based on historical data, i.e. machine learning.
  • Proactive, suggestive actions  may lead to sales of goods and services. e.g. AI Personal Assistant flags potential ‘buys’ from eBay based on user profiles.

Three main sources of AI Personal Assistant value add:

  • A portal to the “outside” world; E.g. If I need information, I wouldn’t “surf the web” I would ask Cortana to go “Research” XYZ;   in the Business Intelligence / data warehousing space, a business analyst may need to run a few queries in order to get the information they wanted.  In the same token, Microsoft Cortana may come back to you several times to ask “for your guidance”
  • An abstraction layer between the user and their apps;  The user need not ‘lift a finger’ to any app outside the Personal Assistant with noted exceptions like playing a game for you.
  • User Profiles derived from the first two points; I.e. data collection on everything from spending habits, or other day to day  rituals.

Proactive and chatty assistants may win the “Assistant of Choice” on all platforms.  Being proactive means collecting data more often then when it’s just you asking questions ADHOC.  Proactive AI Personal Assistants that are Geo Aware may may make “timely appropriate interruptions”(notifications) that may be based on time and location.  E.g. “Don’t forget milk” says Siri,  as your passing the grocery store.  Around the time I leave work Google maps tells me if I have traffic and my ETA.

It’s possible for the [non-native] AI Personal Assistant to become the ‘abstract’ layer on top of ANY mobile OS (iOS, Android), and is the funnel by which all actions / requests are triggered.

Microsoft Corona has an iOS app and widget, which is wrapped around the OS.  Tighter integration may be possible but not allowed by the iOS, the iPhone, and the Apple Co. Note: Google’s Allo does not provide an iOS widget at the time of this writing.

Antitrust violation by mobile smartphone maker Apple:  iOS must allow for the ‘substitution’ of a competitive AI Personal Assistant to be triggered in the same manner as the native Siri,  “press and hold home button” capability that launches the default packaged iOS assistant Siri.
Reminiscent of the Microsoft IE Browser / OS antitrust violations in the past.

Holding the iPhone Home button brings up Siri. There should be an OS setting to swap out which Assistant is to be used with the mobile OS as the default.  Today, the iPhone / iPad iOS only supports “Siri” under the Settings menu.

ANY AI Personal assistant should be allowed to replace the default OS Personal assistant from Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana to any startup company with expertise and resources needed to build, and deploy a Personal Assistant solution.  Has Apple has taken steps to tightly couple Siri with it’s iOS?

AI Personal Assistant ‘Wish” list:

  • Interactive, Voice Menu Driven Dialog; The AI Personal Assistant should know what installed [mobile] apps exist, as well as their actionable, hierarchical taxonomy of feature / functions.   The Assistant should, for example, ask which application the user wants to use, and if not known by the user, the assistant should verbally / visually list the apps.  After the user selects the app, the Assistant should then provide a list of function choices for that application; e.g. “Press 1 for “Play Song”
    • The interactive voice menu should also provide a level of abstraction when available, e.g. User need not select the app, and just say “Create Reminder”.  There may be several applications on the Smartphone that do the same thing, such as Note Taking and Reminders.  In the OS Settings, under the soon to be NEW menu ‘ AI Personal Assistant’, a list of installed system applications compatible with this “AI Personal Assistant” service layer should be listed, and should be grouped by sets of categories defined by the Mobile OS.
  • Capability to interact with IoT using user defined workflows.  Hardware and software may exist in the Cloud.
  • Ever tighter integration with native as well as 3rd party apps, e.g. Google Allo and Google Keep.

Apple could already be making the changes as a natural course of their product evolution.  Even if the ‘big boys’ don’t want to stir up a hornet’s nest, all you need is VC and a few good programmers to pick a fight with Apple.

Entertainment Portals: Streaming VOD and Live Broadcasts, Games, News

Netflix is a subscription-based film and television program rental service that offers media to subscribers via Internet streaming.

Amazon Instant Video is an Internet video on demand service. It offers television shows and films for rental or purchase.  Selected titles offered free to customers with Amazon Prime subscription.

Bland definitions of what is formulating to be entertainment portals, encompassing multiple media types:

  • Games
  • Movies
  • Music
  • Photos
  • News
  • Social [Platform Integration]
  • Television
  • YouTube
Entertainment Portals:

All or some of the above media types, licensed for distribution,  are served through one or more portals.

Licensing content to be offered across several platforms requires a robust DAM.  Digital asset management (DAM) consists of management tasks and decisions surrounding the ingestion, annotation, cataloguing, storage, retrieval and distribution of digital assets.  The DAM products/processes looks like it will continue to bloom as distribution models are ‘experimented’ by the providers

  • Amazon [Instant]
  • Apple ecosphere
  • AOL
  • Cablevision – Optimum
  • Facebook [social]
  • G+ [social]
  • MSN
  • Netflix
  • ReMake – a fictitious Entertainment portal
    • the project team iterates through user design input, and remakes the UI, [and Workflow]  bi-weekly based on consumer feedback
  • Twitter [social]
  • Verizon FiOS
  • Yahoo
Segmented portals, containing one or two media types
  • Music and Music Games,  name that tune;
Industry Standards for Interfaces to/from Entertainment Portals
  • Search Catalog [by …]
    • API returns ‘Stream able’ / Playable URL for a VOD or Broadcast feed.

Report: Apple testing 64-bit iPhone processor with a “motion tracking” chip — Tech News and Analysis

Report: Apple testing 64-bit iPhone processor with a “motion tracking” chip — Tech News and Analysis.

The 64 Bit Chip would certainly make the mobile race interesting. Having a like for like comparison of processing speed, with a similar app on Android, Apple, and Microsoft Mobile operating systems would be ideal, and the results published.

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Write Once, Run to Anywhere with Java and any Mobile OS

In a collaborative effort by the mobile industry to have more applications run on their platforms, the mobile OS vendors will provide a Java Virtual Machine, or JVM,  with OS builds, and additionally enable their SDKs with the ability to ingest and create jar files so the code may be tweaked per OS platform.  This move by the mobile industry is seen as a huge win for the vendors trailing in the market place, but it is deemed as an overall win for the industry. HTML 5 will need to wait a little longer on the promise to unify platforms.

Maybe It’s Just My Gym? Where is my Digital Workout Assistant?

I just got back from my gym, and there were brand new machines.  So I was wondering where my digital workout assistant was on the machine.

RF tag on each weight, communicates with another RF tag on the machine with a UPC reader, and WiFi to the main hub so the gym can track your progress.

I envisioned a person walking up to a machine, passing their gym ID tag across the UPC machine, which registers them to ‘check in’ to the screen.  Then the person working out will setup their weight capacity, and start their reps.  Once the reps start, the RF tag on the maximum weight lifted, and passes that packed of data to the exercise machine’s main system, which stores all of their data until they ‘Check Out’ with their GYM ID to the UPC.  Also, if the person forgets to ‘check out’ either with the next ‘check in’ or with a timeout of inactivity, the data is sent to the main gymnasium via the WiFi, and optionally your Smartphone via an option NFC component on their workout machine, or through the main terminal once they are done with activity, and ‘Check Out’ from the gym.

This wil allow you to track your workout, get a pictorial view of how you are progressing, how often, as well the Gym may recommend, dynamically, how to adjust your plan based on your targeted goals for exercise.  But, maybe, just maybe it’s only my gym.

 

AMD and Dell to Partner on Alienware Smartphone: 8 x 1.9 GHz Cores with 4 GB RAM

In an unorthodox move by Dell, they partner up with AMD to produce a smartphone that is on par with their Alienware computers, and is to be included in their line, glowing Alien on the back and all.

The new phone, yet to be disclosed the project name, Alienware Smartphone will take the smartphone to their highest computational limits on the market today, so you should expect the device to have top of the line cameras, NFC, Bluetooth, removable battery, MicroSD, and it will be an unlocked phone.  That’s right, since so many carriers are starting to up the price and perform less subsidization, and require longer contracts, other carriers, such as T-Mobile are allowing bring your own phone, and their customers not obligated to contract.  They are also promoting paying full retail for phones, and including the phone in the monthly cost.

Dell Alienware hardware traditionally comes with high quality, but with a high price tag, so don’t expect any bargains, but do expect a blazing fast phone.

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TV Providers Give Away Thin Client Tablets, with Video Streaming Only

It’s an interesting concept, where your television or video provider, when you sign up with them, gives you light weight, thin client tablets that are capable of few commands, e.g. such as changing channels.  The hardware for these tablets have minimum CPU and RAM requirements, just enough to perform quality video stream, but little multitasking or app execution.  In essence your television provider throws in very inexpensive, limited capability televisions, i.e tablets, so the whole family can watch whatever they want via WiFi through their own or on the go, vastly distributed, hot spots around your state, and their WiFi, Hot Spot domain.   Everyone can watch their own channel, and as in other articles I’ve mentioned, they could watch their own perspective of the same show, such as we have seem in the media where European Soccer will have multiple channels of views to cover the same event, i.e. they will have multiple video cameras filming and broadcasting showing a different view of ‘the game’.  So if a group of people are hanging around on a couch watching the game, the main view could be on the big television, while each person in the room has a thin client tablet watching their own view of the game.

It may be not far off in the distant future, that hot spot providers charge a lease fee to other providers, just like we had leased cell towers to cover the gaps, almost a roaming type situation, but for hot spots, before we go to a wide area coverage, such as N. America.