For days when there is no cloud in sight…

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! 

Universal Electronics collaborates with Cirrent to deliver seamless Wi-Fi® set-up for the connected home

Cirrent's technology will be offered on our Smart Home digital assistant platform, Nevo® Butler, to automatically configure Wi-Fi and improve ease of use and security for Wi-Fi connected devices. Cirrent is a leading provider of software that enables product companies to make Wi-Fi products easier to use, more reliable, and more secure. Cirrent’s technology will be offered as a pre-integrated feature on Nevo® Butler to bring enhanced provisioning and network management to our customers.

Wi-Fi onboarding infrastructure service, pre-integrated into Nevo® Butler, extends home automation services, improves product set-up, connectivity and insights.

 

Nevo Butler is an end-to-end voice-enabled smart home hub with a built-in white label digital assistant that unifies entertainment control and home automation experiences, enabling interoperability across fragmented ecosystems. Nevo Butler platform and kits will be available to operators worldwide to offer voice-enabled entertainment experiences and smart home services to consumers while remaining in control of the customer relationship.

Complete Wi-Fi provisioning and IoT network intelligence solution...

 

By pre-integrating Cirrent’s technology into Nevo Butler, our customers will get access to Cirrent’s ZipKey® technology for fully automatic provisioning of Wi-Fi networks, radically simplifying the set up for end users.  Operators worldwide will be able to access Cirrent’s IoT Network Intelligence to automatically diagnose any Wi-Fi or network-related issues, taking the guesswork out of Wi-Fi setup and management for customers and operators.

...enables operators to remotely monitor network performance and diagnose performance issues to improve customer experience.

 

By adding ZipKey and IoT Network Intelligence to Nevo Butler products, we will be enabling operators worldwide to bring the benefits of ZipKey to subscribers, as Nevo Butler products may also act as ZipKey hotspots, allowing end customers to use ZipKey to onboard third party products -- simplifying the onboarding for home entertainment, security, appliances, and IoT products.

...simplifies onboarding for home entertainment, security, appliances, and IoT products.

 

“Cirrent raises the bar on Wi-Fi user experience for connected products.  Adding Cirrent technology to automate Wi-Fi provisioning was an easy decision for UEI.  Cirrent improves both the customer experience and the security of all of the Wi-Fi products in the home, which benefits both operators and consumers,” said Arsham Hatembeiki, SVP of Product and Technology at UEI.

“Wi-Fi ease of use and security are increasingly important issues for network operators,” said Rob Conant, CEO of Cirrent, “We’re delighted to partner with UEI to bring ZipKey and IoT Network Intelligence to network operators and broadband subscribers around the world.”

"... delighted to partner with UEI to bring ZipKey and IoT Network Intelligence to network operators and broadband subscribers around the world.”

 

Through partnerships with Cirrent, ZipKey products connect to the cloud automatically in more than 120 million homes. Network operator’s customers can connect ZipKey-enabled consumer electronics products automatically and securely to their broadband networks without entering network names or passwords, simplifying setup and improving the security of connected products. Cirrent’s solution also helps operators remotely monitor network performance and diagnose network performance issues, improving the customer experience.

Universal Electronics works with Firedome to bring enhanced cybersecurity features to digital assistant platform

We will be teaming up with Firedome Inc., the creators of the leading endpoint cybersecurity solutions for home IoT manufacturers, to include Firedome Home solution as part of our Nevo® Butler platform. Firedome Home adds cybersecurity protection, home digital diary, and enhanced remote customer support to our product.

IoT devices are "low hanging fruit” for attackers for their low cost of attack and lack of supervision, making them a common target by hackers.

 

Firedome's solutions are designed to close critical security gaps that are a byproduct of the IoT era. IoT devices have become “low hanging fruit” for attackers for their low cost of attack and lack of supervision, making them a common target by hackers. Cryptojacking, DDoS and ransomware attacks are only a few examples of cyber crimes that is threatening the home IoT ecosystem.

"Privacy and security have been the core foundation of Nevo Butler's design since inception, and are offered as a managed service rooted in hardware."

 

Nevo Butler is pre-integrated with Firedome Home to include advanced monitoring and insights derived from any connected device in the home environment. Firedome’s non-intrusive solution includes digital presence alerts, parental control mechanisms and network enhanced data. Offered as part of a marketplace of partner services, this capability can extend and compliment the physical security services offered in the safety & monitoring segments, as well as an enhanced digital well-being under broadband services.

“We are excited to join forces with Universal Electronics, the worldwide leader in universal control and sensing technologies for the smart home, to help enable service providers and device manufacturers become the home security gatekeeper, and enrich their value added services through our innovative, non-intrusive software-only solution.” says Moti Shkolnik, Firedome’s Co-founder and CEO.

"It is only logical for such a platform to not only offer physical security services, but also address the digital security of connected homes, and include cybersecurity as-a-service..."

 

“Privacy and security have been the core foundation of Nevo Butler's design since inception, and are offered as a managed service rooted in hardware. It is only logical for such a platform to not only offer physical security services, but also address the digital security of connected homes and include cybersecurity as-a-service to our customers, and end consumers.” says Arsham Hatambeiki, SVP Product and Technology, Universal Electronics Inc.

We will host product demonstrations for all our latest technologies and design concepts, and unveil our latest product, Nevo® Butler and related platform kits at booth #42325 in the Sands Expo at CES 2019 in Las Vegas from January 8-11 and will jointly showcase the combined solution with presentations and demos.  Nikki Ahmadi, Director of Cloud and Software Products; and Patrick Serrato, Director of Connected Home solutions will be available to discuss how Nevo Butler and curated kits and services can be used to introduce or expand offerings in a range of channels.