Hello. How Can I Help You?

Ah the executive assistant, they’re there to manage your schedule, book travel arrangements and help get you from 8 to 5. Don’t misunderstand us, this article isn’t about the replacement of human assistants, but the addition of a digital one. Electronic personal assistants, or digital assistants are not exactly new concepts. However their refined capabilities are starting to make waves with business professionals, in and out of the office.  

ivee

Picture the home of the Jetsons, ivee Voice is a solid step in that direction. The multiroom voice assistant connects to your home and allows you to control your favorite smart devices and services. Nest, WeMo, SmartThings, Philip’s Hue, Logitech Harmony, Wink and Lowe’s Iris all connect to ivee through an easy to use app.

A defining feature is ivee’s far-field microphone technology. You can talk to ivee from up to 15 feet away. The two advanced omni directional far-field microphones will pick up your voice from almost anywhere in your home. The device will play music for you on command, order takeout and even make dinner reservations. Its advanced Natural Language Speech processing technology allows you to talk naturally to ivee, it’s as though you’re talking to another person.  

ivee the digital assistant
Image via Twitter @helloivee

 

The mobile app will let you customize your favorite devices and services, creating “Scenes”. The device is currently up for preorder through indiegogo and is sure to make a splash as the concept for personal and professional digital assistants starts to take off.

Jarvis

No, not Tony Stark’s personal AI assistant, however the design definitely took inspiration from the film. Jarvis is made by ItsMyLab and is a free downloadable app that helps manage your day to day. It’s also one of very few software programs that works on Android Wear devices.

Jarvis the digital assistant
Image via play.google.com

Jarvis can answer questions, inform you of breaking news, send messages, make calls and perform various commands like changing your wallpaper, modify your device settings and more. The technology however, is not a bot so it cannot talk back to you or participate in conversation like instances. On the flip side, the digital assistant is always aware of where you are and what time it is. The program will adjust to your tastes as you spend more time with it. Currently Jarvis does not support multiple languages and only speaks English at this time; however, with the rise of digital assistants we can be sure updates will roll out quickly.

Cubic

Cubic is another smart device that makes you feel like we’ve finally achieved technological greatness. Their end goal aims to get the voice-activated AI device into the hands of everyone, no six digit income required. The device was brought to you by Cubic Robotics and while it can’t quite pick up your dry cleaning it can connect with many of the smart systems in your home. The digital assistant can turn lights on and off for you, adjust the temperature in a room, remember where you parked, lock your doors and even set your home alarm.

Cubic takes things a step further, stepping in a more professional direction. The digital assistant can call a cab or car service, email your boss and even tweet for you. In the car Cubic will give you traffic updates and read emails to you. But what really sets Cubic apart from the rest of these digital assistants? Cubic can turn any device into a voice activated smart device in mere minutes. For example, plug a lamp into one of Cubic’s sockets then ask him to turn the lamp on. The device will ask for the socket number and will immediately remember the lamp’s location from then on.

Cubic the digital assistant
Image via digitaltrends.com

Another defining feature is Cubics “desire” to learn. Cubic’s CMO, Ivan Kryukov told Digital Trends, “He’s always trying to keep conversation going. If you’re asking him about something, he will try to ask you back… He can even start a conversation by his own if he has something to say.” This is due to the nature of the devices learning capabilities. Cubic can learn your preferences through your Google searches. Currently Cubic works with 50+ applications and services. Harness the power of all of your technology from anywhere. Just talk to Cubic and Cubic will get things done.

The takeaway- digital assistants are not quite ready to take over for human assistants, however the recent developments are pretty impressive. The future of the digital assistant lies in personalization and the ability to master true AI. Advancements in technology are being made daily, propelling us into the future at intense speeds. As VAIO keeps pace we’ll continue to keep a lookout for emerging trends and advancements in the digital assistant space.