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015 – Brielle Nickoloff – Toolsets for Voice Creators

Today’s episode of the Future Ear Radio podcast features Brielle Nickoloff, Product Marketing Lead at Witlingo. Witlingo is at the forefront of creating production tools for voice creators, making it much easier to produce and distribute voice experiences onto voice assistant-enabled devices. For example, I publish a 3 minute audio clip Monday-Friday through Witlingo’s portal, which is then automatically uploaded onto Alexa and Google Assistant devices.

Brielle and I had a great conversation that focused on the need for really solid toolsets to enable higher quality content. When you look at the rise of mobile (and previous computing phases), the adoption of the new phase tends to correlate with the ease-of-use of the tools used to create content, as well as the increasing sophistication of said tools to produce higher quality content.

As smartphones matured, so too did many of the apps that were enabled by the inherent technology of the device, such as the cameras and the processing power. The content production has progressed to the point where my 83-year-old grandmother can post on Facebook, my friends and I can entertain each other through Snapchat and Instagram, and my teen cousin can try and be the next TikTok star. Prior to mobile, the improvements in the hardware capabilities, and the production tools that developed alongside it, it would be unfathomable for any of those three scenarios to exist.

As we enter into this voice-centric modality, content creators are going to need to be equipped with similar types of tools that are both easy to use and allow for higher degrees of sophistication. As Brian Roemmele noted during his keynote at the Alexa Conference two years ago (now called Project Voice), “we need to enable the creatives to come into this space,” and it’s companies like Witlingo that are ushering creatives into the fold by equipping them with tools for non-technical people.

In my opinion, one of the most compelling use cases that Witlingo is moving into is the idea of community messaging – think community managers and coordinators working in assisted living facilities or college dorms. The idea would be to use voice assistant-enabled devices to broadcast personalized messages, that are fully customizable down to a one-to-one level. In essence, this would replace the cork boards that are filled with the days activities, as those activities could be regularly updated, and the user could filter out what types of actvities they want to be updated on, all accessible through a smart speaker.

This takes me back to the inverted pyramid that I created a little while back, where I was attempting the illustrate the potential of flash briefings (and really any type of RSS feed of audio clips). So, if I’m a college student at the SLU (which has been providing smart speakers in every dorm), I might want my personalized feed of audio clips to comprise of 5 clips from the top of the pyramid (general, broad-based info), three in the middle (targeted, niche-based info), and three on the bottom (personalized info for me).

It’s this bottom portion of the pyramid that Witlingo is really targeting and would allow for students to get information on their classes or group projects, or assisted living residents retrieving updates on the activities they’re interested in. The kicker is that this info gets fed to you along with all the others news you’re interested in, creating a pretty compelling habit of voice usage.

Much like the conversation I had with Nick White of Orbita about OrbitaASSIST and the effort to replace the traditional nurse call button in the hospital, it could be that another specific thing ripe for voice technology would be the community cork board.

-Thanks for Reading-

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