Daily Updates, Future Ear Radio

Future Ear Daily Update: 4-23-19

Pondering Enterprise + Voice

From Bret Kinsella’s Presentation at the Alexa Conference

At the Alexa conference this year, Bret Kinsella kicked the event off with his talk about how we’re entering into the second phase of voice technology. The first phase was all about exposing people to the technology, growing the user base and getting people comfortable using their smart assistants in their home. The second phase, as Bret described, is all about our smart assistants moving onto new devices and into new environments. This phase will be defined by specialization and habituation.

There are a number of different environments that we’re seeing momentum building as smart assistants start to enter into the space. In the healthcare space, Amazon announced its HIPAA-compliant developer kit and the initial, limited roll-out, providing us a glimpse of what’s to come. The Voice of the Car summit just wrapped up, which brought together a large number of folks working at the intersection of voice technology and auto. As Mark Cuban mentioned on This Week in Voice, the car is basically a second home, so it makes a lot of sense that the area we’re seeing voice technology extending into most quickly is the car.

The area that has been a bit quiet lately that I feel is poised to have voice enter into in a huge way is the enterprise space. Back in late 2017, Amazon announced “Alexa for Business” with the intention of integrating Alexa into conference rooms, co-working sites like WeWork, and at employees desks to provide control and enhance communication. While I think Alexa serves a purpose in the office, the enterprise is still Microsoft’s for the taking.

Microsoft could greatly enhance all of its software offerings by layering Cortana into the whole Microsoft Office suite. Just think of the efficiencies that could be had if Cortana were to be baked into all the various Microsoft offerings:

  • Word: Cortana-based app that allows for voice recording and speech-to-text transcription so that you can write any document you want, just like Farhad Manjoo, right into Word.
  • PowerPoint: “Cortana, space all of these images on this slide out evenly.” “Cortana, add a transition here.” “Cortana, bring the bottom row of images to the front.” and so on…
  • Excel: “Cortana, pivot all this data for me.” “Cortana give me the sum of column J.” “Cortana, run a formula for me…”
  • Outlook: “Cortana, when is the next time all the marketing team members are available for a 30-minute meeting? Ok, send out a calendar invite to everyone on the team.” “Cortana, which emails do I need to respond to first?” “Cortana, find Larry Thomas’ phone number in his email signature.”

Adobe products like Premier Pro, Photoshop, InDesign would be awesome to be able to control with voice. The same with Apple products like Final Cut. I’m curious what you think here – what other applications do you see voice and smart assistants being impactful in the enterprise space?  Share them with me on Twitter!

-Thanks for Reading-


To listen to the broadcast on your Alexa device, enable the skill here: https://www.amazon.com/Witlingo-Future-Ear-Radio/dp/B07PL9X5WK/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=future+ear+radio&qid=1552337687&s=digital-skills&sr=1-1-catcorr

To listen on your Google Assistant device, enable the skill here: https://assistant.google.com/services/a/uid/00000059c8644238

and then say, “Alexa/Ok Google, launch Future Ear Radio.”


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