Microsoft Customer Story – nevo.ai as the Intelligent Assistant of Tomorrow’s Smart Homes Powered by QuickSet 5.x IoT Device Management Platform

Microsoft Build – a premier developer conference that takes place at Seattle every year, was held online this May 19 – 21 , 2020. As thousands of developers from across the globe come together to learn, connect and code, this event focuses on empowering them with big ideas! We are happy to share that Universal Electronics Inc., is featured at Microsoft Build 2020, showcasing a  customer story about how we built an interoperability focused intuitive platform for  IoT device management with nevo.ai, voice-enabled digital assistant on Microsoft Azure as a solid and scalable foundation.

We have worked hard on building an end-to-end service that would help brands deliver voice-enabled navigation and control capabilities that work across everyday devices found in the home—offering a truly unique consumer experience.

“We enable brands to build out capabilities that go beyond their own ecosystems,” says Arsham Hatambeiki, our SVP for Product and Technology . “Our QuickSet software is present in more than half a billion devices, helping our customers connect their brand to devices, services, and users in the home.”

 

Our QuickSet 5.0, uses Azure IoT capabilities to provide a single platform for managing devices from different providers, blending entertainment and smart home experiences; while Nevo® Butler adds a built-in voice-enabled assistant, nevo.ai, built on Microsoft Azure’s open framework for conversational AI to ensure that our  consumers have smooth, realistic interactions with our nevo.ai virtual assistant.

“The beauty of working with Cognitive Services and other Azure resources is how easy it is for us to do a quick proof of concept,” says Nikki Ahmadi, our Director of Product for Cloud and Software.

 

Thanks to the combination of user-friendly tools in Azure and the strong existing product knowledge within our team, we can continue to quickly design and build valuable, future-looking services without having to add to its head count significantly. “We were able to vastly expand the scope of our services—with the same size team,” says Hatambeiki. “Through Microsoft, we give our developers and engineers much stronger, more capable tools to build something that would usually require adding a team of 50 or even 100 people.” Read the full customer story published by Microsoft.

Curious to read more about nevo then and now and our partnership with Microsoft? Check out this blast from the past and go down the memory lane: Microsoft Announces Consumer Products Giants BenQ, HP and Samsung Support Smart Displays

 

The Immediate Impact of Coronavirus on Smart Home Device Purchases

While we all work remotely from our homes, and watch the increase in traffic on our QuickSet Cloud services (probably as a result of increased entertainment-needs to prevent mass boredom), we wonder if the recent economic downturn is influencing the technology purchase decisions for the home.

Looking beyond the natural slowdown of new professionally installed services, how has this pandemic affected the smart home (including smart entertainment) device purchases? Should be no surprise to see entertainment leading the way, but some interesting surprises hidden in the data.

Be well, stay safe, and pick up a new project.

The Immediate Impact of COVID-19 on Smart Home Device Purchases

Brandon Gruber, Z-Wave Alliance Developer of the Year 2020

Brandon Gruber receiving the Z-Wave Alliance award for Developer of the Year 2020.

We are excited to share that the Z-Wave Alliance has recognized Brandon Gruber, Senior Firmware Engineer at Ecolink (A Universal Eletronics Inc. Company) as Z-Wave Developer of the Year for 2020

Established in 2005, the Z-Wave Alliance is comprised of industry leaders throughout the globe that are dedicated to the development and extension of Z-Wave as the key enabling technology for home and business applications.

Brandon has been instrumental in successfully bringing multiple Z-Wave products to market, meeting or exceeding the highest performance standards for top-tier ecosystem providers. Brandon contributes regularly to our applications support process by proactively providing feedback on the stability of the firmware and identifying opportunities for improvement. He has demonstrated independence and expertise in developing Z-Wave solutions that extract the best performance of the 700 Series platform. Brandon’s work exemplifies quality engineering effort and highlights the range and link stability that can be achieved with battery-powered Z-Wave applications.

“The Z-Wave Alliance commends Brandon and Ecolink for quickly adopting the latest solutions and features into their product strategy.”

Mitch Klein, Executive Director, Z-Wave Alliance

“The Z-Wave Alliance commends Brandon and Ecolink for quickly adopting the latest solutions and features into their product strategy.” Stated Mitch Klein, executive director, Z-Wave Alliance, “Brandon consistently shares constructive insights with Silicon Lab’s marketing and R&D teams to help them continue to improve the product”. 

Brandon has been universally recognized within the Z-Wave development community as a team player and a strategic development partner. For these reasons, Brandon is a deserving recipient of the Alliance’s Z-Wave Developer of the Year award. 

We are more than thrilled for Brandon and know he will continue to be a key player in the future development of Z-Wave. Congrats, Brandon!