Siri and Voice Assistants

Improving Siri and OK Google Voice Assistants

Google I/O and Apple’s WWDC are coming up fast, both with expectations on what the next versions of their respective operating systems will have. There are many folks out there who have been asking for an API into Siri or OK Google. At the very least, it looks like Android may be providing such capability. There is a talk scheduled for Google I/O called: “Building voice actions for your Android app” (https://events.google.com/io2015/schedule?sid=4c59a197-b6d4-e411-b87f-00155d5066d7#). The summary states:

In this talk, attendees will learn how to drive traffic to their Android app using voice actions. We'll cover how apps should inform Google which “OK Google” requests they can handle on phones, tablets, and watches.

It sounds promising, but will it be enough? And will Apple produce similar access to enable developers with the ability to call their apps through Siri? I’ve done a decent amount of work in this genre of mobile apps, most recently with Credit Sesame’s Siri integration, where members who have the app installed can ask Siri “What’s my credit score?” and the app will launch and tell you your credit score. It’s pretty cool when you see it in action, but it’s also very limited. I think the concept of voice assistants on mobile devices should be extended beyond the purpose of predefined commands and merely launching apps.

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