96 episodes

Learn how to implement voice first strategy and create world-class voice experiences with VUX World. Every week, we speak to industry thought leaders and practitioners on the three core pillars of voice: strategy, design and development. We share the deep details of how they do what they do, so that you can do what you do, better.

VUX World Kane Simms

    • Technology

Learn how to implement voice first strategy and create world-class voice experiences with VUX World. Every week, we speak to industry thought leaders and practitioners on the three core pillars of voice: strategy, design and development. We share the deep details of how they do what they do, so that you can do what you do, better.

    Matchbox.io with Sarah Andrew Wilson

    Matchbox.io with Sarah Andrew Wilson

    Sarah Andrew Wilson, Chief Content Officer at Matchbox.io, shares the secret sauce for creating the kind of Alexa skills you can build a business on.
    In this episode:This week, we speak to Sarah about the Matchbox.io stable of skills and discuss:
    What it’s like maintaining 18 Alexa skillsThe Opearlo acquisitionUnique advice for people and companies just getting startedThe 3-step Matchbox.io philosophy that runs through each of its Alexa skillsEcosystems and community and how the two drive engagementISPs and how Matchbox.io is monetising Alexa skillsHow changing 1 word led to a 17% increase in conversionsHow Matchbox.io gets its skills discoveredThe potential for advertising on assistant platformsLinksMatchbox.io website
    Matchbox.io on Twitter
    Question of the day
    Question of the day Facebook group
    Sarah on LinkedIn

    • 50 min
    The rundown: the start of the talking twenties

    The rundown: the start of the talking twenties

    The first episode of the new year is both a reflection on how far we've come in the last 12 months, and what to look forward to in the year to come. 
    This is a special episode as it's the first of a new decade. And in this episode of the rundown, we're getting deep. 
     
    Biggest news stories of 2019:Apple acquires Pullstring - Was this an acqui-hire? Or is Apple using the Pullstring tool internally? Will we ever find out? Either way, 2019 started out with a big acquisition from a big player and showed good early signs of a growing industry.
    Sonos acquires Snips - Given the importance of privacy, Sonos might have struck gold with Snips, the privacy first voice tech company based in Paris. The sad thing for the industry is that Sonos will not support third party activity any longer and is keeping the tech for its own speakers.
    This could happen more and more as big companies realise the value of having voice technology and the talent to create and implement it. I just hope there are enough tools leftover to support the community and third party developers. 
    Voice startup funding set to triple in 2019 
    Google BERT: understanding searches better than ever before, and ERNIE from Baidu, which can understand subjects and topics better than ever before, too. With these two developments on the AI front, the chances of understanding what users are asking for and being able to offer the correct response is increasing. ERNIE beats humans as far as its reading comprehension capability is concerned.
    Most overhyped news stories of 2019:Voice interoperability initiative - On the face of it, this sounds great. Lots of organisations joining together to create standards that will allow multiple voice assistants to run on a single device so that users can choose which assistant they'd prefer to use for a given task. In reality, given that Google and Apple aren't involved in this, will it have the benefits that it proposes? Well, perhaps if Alexa is your go-to assistant, then yes. This way, Alexa is the core assistant, but then Cortana and Einstein (Salesforce) can be used for more specific tasks. 
    Humans review Alexa recordings - Maybe it's just because we're so deeply ingrained in the industry that I assumed that humans reviewing mismatched or failed utterances would be obvious. Seemingly, though, the public did not. I understand that users are concerned with privacy around voice assistants and that the industry needs to respond and develop trust. However, I think this story in particular, and the others that followed it, blew things out of proportion and were used as scaremongering.
    Most underhyped stories of 2019:Google AI runs on device - When this was announced at I/O'19, it got some coverage, but it wasn't made as big a deal of than I'd have thought. This is the kind of thing that Snips used as it's core differentiator. Now, Google can run automatic speech recognition on the device and takes Google Assistant a step closer to being a privacy-first assistant. 
    The great Google action outage - In October, Google pulled almost all of the actions on Google Assistant offline without warning. Thousands of actions just vanished. It later transpired that it was due to a potential security risk around a phishing vulnerability, but the company didn't communicate anything to anyone, at all. The story was covered by Voicebot and that's about it. Imagine if all of the apps in the app store vanished over night, without warning. I thought it was big news that deserved more coverage. 
    Hugging Face raised $15 million - The big two (Amazon and Google) are talked about more often than anything else. We're guilty of this ourselves sometimes. But we know that voice is about more than those two. It's about more than smart speakers. It's the interface of the future and the opportunities for using voice span well beyond the big two. And so when we

    • 53 min
    User research the NPR way with Ha-Hoa Hamano

    User research the NPR way with Ha-Hoa Hamano

    How do NPR approach designing voice applications? And how do they engage users to make sure that they're designing the right things for the right people, Ha-Hoa Homano, Sr. Product Manager, Emerging Platforms at NPR joins us to share all.

    LinksRead more at npr.design
    Learn with npr.codes
    Follow Ha-Hoa on Twitter
    Audio player functionality suggestion on Alexa.uservoice.com (still pending)

    • 54 min
    Accessibility is usability with Sierra Fontana and Carissa Merrill

    Accessibility is usability with Sierra Fontana and Carissa Merrill

    Sierra Fontana and Carissa Merrill are working hard to make the US Bank's voice services accessible to all. They join us on this episode to share how they're approaching accessibility for voice and why it's so important to prioritise accessibility early.
    Presented by the Conversational Academy. Save 10% on the world's no.1 online conversation design course.

    LinksWCAG guidelines
    All about VoiceItt with Sara Smolley
    Join Carissa Merrill and Sierra Fontana on LinkedIn

    • 52 min
    Live from Mobile UX London: Designing for voice panel

    Live from Mobile UX London: Designing for voice panel

    Facilitating a panel discussion on voice design with Ben Sauer of Babylon Health, Charlie Cadbury of Say it Now, Jen Heap of Vixen Labs, Rozzi Meredith of Voxly and Quirine van Walt Meijer of Microsoft.

    • 25 min
    Alliveiating lonliness with Adam Greenwood

    Alliveiating lonliness with Adam Greenwood

    Adam Greenwood is the CEO of the human tech agency, Greenwood Campbell. Last year, Adam and his team trialled placing voice assistants in residential homes in the UK to see whether voice assistants can help alleviate loneliness for senior citizens.
    We discuss the project and the results, as well as get Adam's take on the current state of voice and what he'd like to see in 2020.
    Presented by the Conversational Academy. Save 10% on the world's no.1 online conversation design course.
    This episode was broadcast live on LinkedIn. To catch the next live broadcast, join Kane Simms on LinkedIn.

    LinksAdam Greenwood on LinkedIn
    Greenwood Campbell website
    Watch the Alleviating Loneliness video
    Greenwood Campbell on Twitter

    Podcasts referenced in this episodeAsk Marvee with Heidi Culbertson
    Helping Susan with Ruby Steel and Will Merrill

    • 34 min

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Deep dive into the world of voice app dev

Kane picks top industry experts and discusses the details around developing good voice apps. I pick up something every episode!

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