For years, we worked towards a future where technology makes lives more convenient. As technology evolved, the way consumers interacted with their surroundings also evolved. We have come a long way from using physical devices such as keyboards as user interfaces, to today using voice as an interface through general assistants. Whether to interact with smart devices, or to gain information, these digital assistants flood the market to cater to our various needs, but don't address today's consumer behaviour.
Voice-based technologies experienced massive growth in the past five years leading to the rise of voice-controlled digital assistants, allowing interactions with devices in a natural way. Digital assistants, in addition to their shortcomings while controlling devices that lack cloud-to-cloud connectivity, have another limitation - their dependence on high-speed, reliable internet connectivity.
24 million in rural USA don’t have access to high-speed internet and a portion of the population in every state still uses dial-up.
According to a recent report, 3.9 billion people in the world, out of the 7.593 billion lack access to the internet. In rural USA, 24 million don’t have access to high-speed internet and in every single state, a portion of the population doesn’t have access to broadband and still uses a dial-up connection. Actual weather conditions can also paralyze the internet, and lead to frequent outages that cause unreliable network connections.
Scenarios with limited to no network connectivity poses several challenges in the adoption of useful services that could be offered through voice-enabled products, including:
- Critical commands: Failure to enable use cases that require a critical, dependable service, such as home security use cases, for example - being able to arm the house when there is no internet connectivity.
- Latency: Technology needs to be a reliable utility with known behavior and trusted response times. Poor latency in executing a capability is unacceptable.
- Cost: Latency can be avoided by constant streaming and high data rate, but that would result in higher operational costs.
Research suggests that over the past decade, technological developments increased exponentially and computation power shifted from being cloud-intensive to being edge-intensive. The cost of computation reduced, and edge devices are now more powerful, making them capable of doing more intelligent (language) processing on the edge, instead of the cloud. So now, a simple "Good Night" command would not only turn off your TV, but would also arm your house. Imagine being able to control your security system with voice through your digital assistant - at all times, even when network connectivity is not available!
QuickSet SDK, was designed as a smarter edge to begin with, using an offline virtual machine that runs commands and rules locally.
Nevo Butler is built on QuickSet SDK which was designed as a smarter edge to begin with, enabling Nevo Butler deliver the intelligence needed, even when the device is offline. It merges offline voice processing for selected activities with an offline virtual machine running commands and rules locally, to provide reliability and control over privacy. Digital assistants on the market rely heavily on the cloud for their functionalities, giving companies an opportunity to listen to their consumers, potentially blurring privacy lines.
Our platform delivers the ultimate user experience with conversational interactions through cloud based natural language understanding; while offering reliable, secure and low latency embedded voice capabilities that can be used offline for the most commonly used commands. You don't need to send electrons across the planet to decipher if someone just wants to turn the TV on, you can make a home smarter in-place, and connected when needed!
All fundamental tasks in entertainment control such as - turn on/off TV, turn up/down volume, change the channel, can be executed through local voice commands without ever having to find the remote control, or worrying about the internet being down. According to Nielsen, in USA, adults watch about five hours and four minutes of TV per day i.e 35.5 hours per week. By saving fractions of seconds in each interaction, by using voice to perform basic functions, we can have meaningful effects for the large volume of users that can benefit from this.
Adults in USA watch TV ~35.5 hours per week...we can have meaningful effect on users by saving fractions of seconds in each interaction...
Our approach via Nevo Butler addresses gaps while extending capabilities of existing digital assistants. For example, you can still tell your Google or Alexa to turn on your TV; or in a scenario where they aren't present in the same room, you can talk directly to your service provider to turn your TV on.
As a white label digital assistant, all commands can be customized for very specific use cases, making Nevo Butler your new best friend!