Amazon Alexa is currently the #1 smart assistant in the world. It is also integrated with Alexa Dot and Echo – Amazon’s smart assistant device for the home. However, Amazon Alexa has only a a limited set of supported Skills. Further, because it hard to remember the specific command syntax, users only re-use about 3% of Alexa’s skills. Discovering new skills is difficult.
There are many actions that Alexa currently does not perform optimally for you:
“Show my boarding pass” (You want to pull up your boarding pass in your airline app when you are in the security line at the airport)
“I need a haircut” (You want to check in to your favorite salon)
“How far can I drive?” (You want to see how many miles are on your Chevy Volt in the OnStar app)
We integrated the Q Actions Android appwith Amazon Alexa. Now you can talk to Amazon Alexa and execute actions instantly in your favorite apps on your mobile device. You can do this on Amazon Alexa on your phone or on Alexa Echo device.
The first step is to install the Q Actions skill and open Q Actions with the command – “Talk to Q Actions” (Link to Alexa Skill)
Now you can talk natively to Q Actions voice application, for example:
“Play narcos” -> will open the Netflix app and start playing the TV show
“I’d like to board” -> will open the United Airlines app and take you right to your boarding pass
“Show Tesla stock” -> will open the ETrade app and show you a real-time stock quote for Tesla
“Show my photo albums” -> will allow you to choose between Flickr and Google Photos apps (if you have both apps) and will show your albums
It’s easy and convenient to use Q Actions with Amazon Alexa. Simply say what you want to do. You don’t need to learn a specific syntax; you can speak naturally. Further, Q personalizes actions based on the apps installed on your device. If you have two apps that are a match you will get an option to choose, using voice. In the future the system will learn your preferences and execute the best action for you.
We would love your feedback on your experience with using Q Actions with Amazon Alexa. We are in the process of adding more features, so stay tuned!
Aiqudo Launches with $5.2M in Funding for Voice AI Platform that Executes Actions in Mobile Apps People Prefer to Use
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) JULY 26, 2017
In a new world of voice computing, one refrain is being heard over and over again: my digital assistant can’t do very much that’s useful. Current virtual assistants don’t connect to familiar apps on mobile devices that people prefer to use. Today, Aiqudo (“eye-cue-doe”), a software pioneer that lets people use voice commands to execute actions in mobile apps, announced its launch with $5.2 million in Series A funding from Atlantic Bridge Capital and the acquisition of Belfast, Ireland’s Sophia. Aiqudo plans to announce the availability of its software (SDK) for developers and partners, its first virtual-assistant integrations and a mobile app for consumers in beta later this summer.
Aiqudo gives consumers the freedom to use voice commands to access and invoke actions within mobile apps they prefer, already know, love and use regularly. Its software eliminates the silos that mobile apps live in today and lets people move seamlessly from one action to the next using natural voice commands. There’s no longer a need to find and open individual apps, navigate to what they need and tap for actions. Instead, people will be able to voice-enable their preferred mobile apps on smartphones, use apps hands-free while driving in their cars, or use them with their favorite virtual assistants at home.
“With Aiqudo, people can just speak and get things done. They can use their voices to execute actions in the mobile apps they love instead of using top-down tree menus and tapping through a series of screens,” says John Foster, Aiqudo CEO and co-founder. “We make virtual assistants far more useful and compelling to consumers because people have a much broader set of mobile app options to control by voice instead of being forced to use the walled gardens and proprietary offerings on the virtual assistant market today.”
Aiqudo’s Voice-to-Action platform lets app developers add a voice-powered interface that enables their apps to understand natural-language commands through a simple onboarding process that takes minutes without coding anything or needing to create an API. App developers remain in control of the brand experience within their app, while providing the convenience and ease-of-use of a voice interface. App developers also benefit from Aiqudo’s platform integrations with popular virtual assistants. They gain broadened access to new voice-computing ecosystems that are growing rapidly without having to create a new interface for each platform.
“We are excited to be active investors in Aiqudo which we strongly believe is enabling a great user and developer experience through its unique voice AI platform that makes digital assistants truly useful. We see the market for voice AI systems based on machine learning and natural language processing primed for explosive growth,” says Atlantic Bridge Capital Managing Partner Kevin Dillon.
With the acquisition of the Sophia team and its machine-learning technology, Aiqudo has added a powerful AI platform and a seasoned team of data scientists and machine-learning experts to enable significant acceleration of its product development. The addition of 17 Sophia patents to Aiqudo’s current IP creates a larger patent portfolio that spans its Voice-to-Action AI platform.
Acquisition of Sophia’s machine-learning team and IP will accelerate ability of mobile AI startup to fill a big gap in the virtual-assistant market with its powerful Voice-to-Action™ platform
“We envision a future where humans interact naturally and effortlessly with technology, without being forced to learn new skills,” says Rajat Mukherjee, Aiqudo CTO and co-founder. “We’ve designed the world’s first software platform that understands users’ voice-command intent and translates that into actions or series of actions in mobile apps across personal mobile devices. The amount of time that people around the world spend in mobile apps today – roughly one trillion hours annually – speaks to how much we love our mobile apps and how much they do for us. Now with Aiqudo, it’s easier than ever to get things done faster by simply speaking naturally, and our software turns commands into actions in apps.”
Since its initial release in October 2011, Apple’s intelligent personal assistant Siri leads the market with 41.4 million monthly active users in the U.S., according to a new report from measurement firm Verto Analytics this month. Yet, Siri usage and engagement has dropped since last year, as Alexa and Cortana grew reports TechCrunch. Of the top 50 most downloaded apps in Apple’s App store, only a handful are fully functional with Siri, a USA TODAY analysis found.
“Our new Voice-to-Action platform will make it easy for virtual assistants to make more mobile apps available to consumers so they’re free to use the apps they prefer in a less clunky way. Developers can also get the in game quickly and voice-enable more apps without having to develop complex technology in-house,” says Foster. “We strongly believe that voice will become the interface of the future to access and control our digital lives so we move seamlessly and intuitively using natural-language commands between asking, navigating, buying and playing across a variety of devices.”
Aiqudo (pronounced: “eye-cue-doe”) is a software pioneer that connects the nascent world of digital voice assistants to the useful, mature world of mobile apps through its Voice-to-Action™ platform. It lets people use voice commands to execute actions in mobile apps across devices. Aiqudo’s SaaS platform uses machine learning (AI) to understand natural-language requests and then triggers instant actions via mobile apps consumers prefer to use to get things done quickly and with less effort. For more info, visit: http://www.aiqudo.com
Let’s face it, technology has not always been very user friendly. Sometimes that felt by design, so coders could keep their club small and exclusive. But usually there’s a step function innovation that totally changes how we interact with technology and, in so doing, disrupts the old paradigm. The mouse and graphical user interface launched the PC (if you’re old enough, you remember when saying GUI sounded cool). Touch screens were the brilliant innovation that enabled the whole new world of smartphones that we live in today.
Voice is the next disruption. Voice will change how we search, how we shop and manage our experiences with retailers, how we create and consume media. The big guys are placing big bets in the space, and we’re starting to see the payoff on some of those components now – voice recognition now has accuracy above 90%, which is good enough to be workable. With improvements in AI, we’ll have contextual understanding, maintain state, and get to conversational capabilities.
But today, voice doesn’t do very much. Alexa sets a mean timer, but if I want to order an Uber, I have to go to my Alexa app to sign in and register, and then I only get limited capabilities. Why wouldn’t I just go to my Uber app? My Uber app has Home, Work, SFO, already in it, plus my payment info, and I can share my ETA with my contacts. And if I want to check Surfline, forget it – there’s no Skill for that.
This is why we created Aiqudo. Our mobile apps do tons of things for us already – get rides, order food, check the surf, and loads of other interactions every day. But the touch screen interface has resulted in each app becoming an individual silo: you have to open the app, navigate your way down to the action you want, maybe tap through a few screens to select your size or color, checkout, and confirm, and then move to the next app and repeat. Aiqudo lets you use simple, intuitive voice commands to instantly get to the action you want, then seamlessly move on to the next action in another app. Do all the things you want to do in your favorite apps, but now at the speed of voice.
Voice will be our interface to everything, eventually. We’re starting with making voice the interface to the things we do every day with our mobile apps.
It’s only been about 3 months since we formally started working @Aiqudo and we’re thrilled to announce the availability of Q Actions (Beta) on the Play Store.
You say it, we do it!
Q Actions allows you to use simple voice commands to instantly execute actions in your favorite Android apps. Other voice assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant don’t do this!
We’ve solved a few hard problems:
Commands in natural language without specific syntax – Unlike systems like Alexa, where you need to invoke a skill by name, and need to use a specific syntax for your command to be recognized, you can use natural commands with Q. You don’t have to mention an app in your command – we’ll automatically figure out the right action for your command. In fact, our AI Search (AIS) uses sophisticated Machine Learning algorithms to perform high-quality fuzzy matching across commands across multiple apps in multiple verticals.
Action invocation in apps without APIs or developer work – The Q Platform does not require app developers to expose specific APIs just for voice. We can enable key actions in apps without any APIs or code. You execute actions just as you normally would in the app, with the additional benefit that it is faster, and you don’t need to remember where the function resides deep within the app. Easier and faster.
Personal actions without registration or loss of privacy – Other assistant platforms only expose few personal actions, and even these require the user to register third party services on the platform. Since Q executes actions in apps directly, we don’t require registration, and you are using apps you already trust for messaging, banking, payments, stocks, etc.
Scalable Action on boarding – We have figured out how to on board actions within apps directly. We on board and maintain actions at our end. So neither you, nor the app developer have to worry about making the actions available broadly.
All you have to do to get started with Q Actions is say “show my actions” – you’ll see a list of actions already available for your favorite apps out-of-the-box.
“Despite all the hype over virtual assistants, consumers don’t yet consider them to be critical to their mobile lives”
Digital assistants don’t do enough today. Users would rather stick with their mobile apps to get things done. Aiqudo addresses this problem, bridging the gap between virtual assistants and mobile apps. These two ecosystems have not been brought together for users in a meaningful way to date; Aiqudo’s Q Platform makes it natural and easy for you to use voice to quickly execute actions within your mobile apps. Remember that your apps are always with you – in your pocket, bag or purse… People even use apps on their mobile phones more frequently than the GPS dashboard console in their cars.
“More than any other feature, however, consumers now value security and privacy above all else.”
This speaks to the value of using voice to get to the actions in your mobile apps – we perceive apps on our phones to be personal, secure, and private, as compared to virtual assistant platforms that exist in the cloud. Current assistant platforms require users to explicitly register (again!) for the personal services they use. This creates unnecessary friction. People hate having to login again!
The Aiqudo platform addresses this barrier by leveraging the apps already on your phone. Instead of building a new interface for each new voice-first, typically fixed-location device, it let’s people use mobile apps to get things done using just your voice.
Intern Voice: Kenny Kang describes the "new normal" for internships.
"As a comparison, my summer roommate interned for a larger corporate company and we developed 2 completely different ideas of a what a ‘normal’ working environment is."