10 Steps to Developing Custom Voice Experiences™

10 Steps to Developing Custom Voice Experience™

Voice technology is rapidly growing in adoption and the use cases are expanding beyond the home and migrating into the business world. Businesses are beginning to understand that the way that consumers interact, learn, and purchase products are evolving. Based on the major adoption of voice technology to date, the predictions are that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020, according to comscore and 55% of households will have a Voice Assistant by 2022 according to VoiceBot.ai reports. Now is the time for businesses and brands to start exploring what the voice experience can do for their business. Just a few examples of the use cases for businesses are, leveraging it as a marketing tool to reach the 35+ million users of voice platforms, such as Amazon Alexa & Google Home, using it internally as a reporting and data analytics tool, or arming your sales force with a dynamic skill to present to customers.

Learn about the Ten Steps to Developing Custom Voice Experience™ Solutions from @VoiceXPInc… Click To Tweet

The Ten Steps to Developing Custom Voice Experience™ Solutions

Regardless of your business size, or the use case for which you choose to leverage voice technology, the process is the same. VoiceXP created a 10 Step Process which they use to create custom, dynamic Voice Experiences™ for customers. During the creation process, the VoiceXP team works closely with the customer to outline the key components, voice benchmarks, and audience to create a Voice Experience™ that is tailored to fit their messaging and industry. Once the software is built, tested, and verified secure, our launch team will provide creative socialization techniques to ensure widespread adoption and impact. Once the Voice Experience is live, the journey doesn’t end there, the customers Voice Ambassador provides tangible,  peripheral metrics to help the client constantly benchmark and improve their Voice Experience™ ROI.  VoiceXP’s Software-as-a-Service approach to voice technology allows for the content and messaging to be updated as needed to stay fresh, timely, and aligned with the industry, giving customers the ability to have their messaging evolve with the competitive landscape.

Want to learn more about the VoiceXP process to develop Voice Experience™  Solutions?  Complete the form to get instant access to the Ten Steps to Developing Voice Experience™ infographic.

VoiceXP Can Help Your Business Embark on the Voice Experience™ Technology Journey 

VoiceXP is dedicated to helping businesses not just leverage the possibilities of voice, but become market leaders in their respective industry. VoiceXP creates custom Voice Experiences™  for the best brands in the world, learn how.

Contact one of our Voice Ambassadors Today!

 

 

Association of Talent Development ATD Learn St. Louis Conference

Talent development professionals have a choice to learn how to program voice assistants or soon be programmed by them.  It’s part of the Voice First movement that is creeping into every classroom of those who understand the scalable nature, consistent messaging, and training delivery techniques that now appear in the format of a conversational bot.

At the Learn St. Louis Conference hosted by the Association for Talent Development St. Louis group, those responsible for the learning function were exposed to ideas never thought possible, especially because less than 5% said they owned a smart speaker.

@dougdevitre from @VoiceXPInc shares the power of #voicefirst technology @ATDSTL 2017 Conference.… Click To Tweet

Some key takeaways participants mentioned included:

  • Programming frequently asked questions into Amazon Alexa.
  • Repurposing the office policy into a conversational format.
  • Developing an unconscious level of competence of language with leaders to reinforce in communications.

ATD Amazon Alexa Skill

One deliverable the ATD St. Louis chapter received was their own Amazon Alexa Skill to share the benefits of joining, participation, and the value propositions from its affiliation.

 

Think of Amazon Alexa as its own learning management system.  All of the content created by human resources can now be repurposed into a conversational format which is much more natural and easier than point/click behavior on a computer screen.

VoiceXP can Help Your Business Embark on the Voice Experience™ Technology Journey 

VoiceXP is dedicated to helping businesses not just leverage the possibilities of voice, but become market leaders in their respective industry. VoiceXP creates custom Voice Experiences™  for the best brands in the world, learn how.

Contact one of our Voice Ambassadors Today!

Top 5 Voice books

Top 5 Voice Experience Books You Must Read in 2017

A new era of computing is upon us, one where advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence are creating an explosion of interest in understanding and creating natural language processing and conversational interfaces. Platforms such as Amazon and Google are building user experiences leveraging voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Currently, over 30 million consumers have voice assistants in their homes, creating the potential for conversation as the new mode of interaction with technology. Now the new challenge facing developers is how to build a user experience that’s modeled after a natural human conversation.

Books you MUST read by these #voicefirst expert authors @cpearl42 @ashevat @cliffnass & more… Click To Tweet

Perfecting the Voice Experience

The top platforms are in a race to perfect the voice experience. Amazon has offered a means for Alexa developers to monetize their skills on its app store. New skills, use cases, and functionality are added to platforms at an exuberant pace. For those who are interested in how to create the perfect voice experience, or just for those who want to understand what the evolution of voice means to the future of computing, there are 5 books that any voice enthusiast should read. These books outline the basic mechanics of conversation, introduce core principles to design by, and present readers with practical UI toolkits to start creating conversational experiences that engage, delight, and truly help users.

Top 5 Voice Experience Books

Designing Voice User Interfaces: Principles of Conversational Experiences by Cathy Pearl

Wired for Speech: How Voice Activates and Advances the Human-Computer Relationship by Clifford Nass Scott Brave 

Designing Bots: Creating Conversational Experiences by Amir Shevat

VoiceXP can Help Your Business Embark on the Voice Experience™ Technology Journey 

VoiceXP is dedicated to helping businesses not just leverage the possibilities of voice, but become market leaders in their respective industry. VoiceXP creates custom Voice Experiences™  for the best brands in the world, learn how.

Contact one of our Voice Ambassadors Today!

VoiceXP Alexa Skill

Amazon Alexa Skill of the Week: Alexa, Start VoiceXP

The Voice technology space is evolving at an exponential pace, and the untapped potential of marketing and connecting with customers like never before is about to explode. Amazon and Google are leading the way to provide simple and scalable platforms that customers can leverage in their homes and businesses via voice user interfaces like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. VoiceXP is dedicated to helping businesses not just leverage the possibilities of Voice Experience™ , but become market leaders in their respective industry.

Presence on the Amazon Alexa platform is the first step in your commitment to participating in the Voice First Movement.  If you have a website.  Great!  If you have a mobile app.  Even better!  What the biggest brands are missing out on today is the opportunity to have a presence on the hottest technology platform that serves over 30 million consumers across the world.  In order to establish your organization, brand, or company as a leader in technological innovation, you can learn from the VoiceXP Amazon Alexa skill as the exemplary produced by one of Amazon’s partners and two of only thirty Alexa Champions in the world.  And, it has been enhanced for the Amazon Echo Show to add more features and improve the user experience.

Amazon Alexa Skill of the Week

In an effort to help businesses stay up to date on the latest voice technology we started a weekly blog series to highlight applications and skills for businesses. In this weeks series, we are highlighting the VoiceXP skill.

#Alexa, Start VoiceXP Click To Tweet

The VoiceXP skill can not only tell you about VoiceXP but it also showcases the capabilities of the platform. Use this skill with either a voice-only device or see additional content with the Echo Show. The VoiceXP skill features dynamic content that gives users an in depth look into the VoiceXP platform and it’s available services, introduces users to the VoiceXP team, which includes 2 Amazon Alexa Champions, how to get started, and more.

Here are some commands to try:

Tell me about VoiceXP.
• What is VoiceXP’s mission?
• Tell me about the team.

• How do I get started?
• Who are some customers?
• Who’s VoiceXP’s ideal customer?

• How do I contact VoiceXP?
• Tell me a fact.

Want to Learn How VoiceXP Can Accelerate Your Business Into the Voice Technology Space?

Click Here to Schedule a Conversation with a Voice Ambassadors Today!

VOICEXP ON FOX2

VoiceXP Visits Fox2 News to Discuss the Voice Technology Disruption

VoiceXP Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Bob Stolzberg, visited Jeff Bernthal at the Fox2 News station Saturday to discuss the voice technology disruption. The future is in voice technology, a phenomena that has caught many by surprise in how quickly it has been adopted by millions. Consumers are rushing to purchase Amazon Dots, Echo Shows, Google Assistants, and other voice platforms to add to their homes and businesses. Voice assistants were the number one back to school purchase this year.

.@VoiceXPInc Visits @FOX2now News to Discuss the Voice #Technology Disruption #Amazon #alexa… Click To Tweet

Bob goes on to talk about how the VoiceXP team works with businesses of all sizes to build custom and dynamic software to create the complete Enterprise Voice Experience™ for the best brands in the world. Watch the episode to learn about the VoiceXP exclusive Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns, and how it is evolving the holiday marketing and shopping experience for businesses and consumers alike.

Want to Learn How VoiceXP Can Accelerate Your Business Into the Voice Technology Space?

Click Here to Schedule a Conversation with a Voice Ambassadors Today!

Platinum Recording Artist Chingy Promotes New Single With Amazon Alexa

Where: Live on VoiceXP Office Hours, VoiceXP Facebook Page, YouTube Live.

*Those unable to join us in person are welcome to attend “virtually” by registering here. A recording of the video will be available after the event for those who need it.  Just ask!

Watch the recording here

Why:  Chingy has always prided himself in being someone who pushes the envelope, and with the release of his new single, “FYR,” he’s doing it with a first of its kind use of voice technology. Partnering with Voice XP, Chingy will start the process of distributing material in a way never before used in the music industry.

You will be able to:

  • Play Chingy’s new single and EP.
  • Get information and updates on his live tour.
  • Get personal biographical information about Chingy.
  • Play his latest video on voice devices that have that capability.

At the Thursday event Chingy will demonstrate this disruptive new way to distribute music. Through voice, he can connect with fans like never before. This is a technology with the potential to expand to cover an artist’s entire body of work. The user only has to ask!

VoiceXP, a pioneer in the world of Alexa “skills” and voice experience is the only company in the Midwest currently endorsed by Amazon as an expert in this field. Voice XP will have representatives on hand to answer questions about the “nuts and bolts.”

VoiceXP provides a complete voice experience to customers across verticals. The worlds largest brands trust VoiceXP to develop, deploy, host and manage voice solutions required to successfully engage their prospects, clients, employees, and communities using the hottest voice platforms like Amazon Alexa & Google Home. Customers are leveraging voice platforms to learn about products and services, as well as make purchases. VoiceXp is excited to be working with a platinum recording artist to create a voice marketing campaign.

Platinum Recording Artist @ChingyFulldekk Promotes New Single With #Amazon #Alexa #voicexp… Click To Tweet

Howard Bailey, Jr. better known by his stage name Chingy, is a platinum award-winning music artist and actor. Chingy grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and began rapping in his late teens. He toured as an opening act with Nelly in the summer of 2002 and then became a protégé of Ludacris, who signed him to his newly formed Disturbing Tha Peace(DTP) record label.

Chingy will be the first music artist in history to promote his new single on Amazon Alexa, and he hired VoiceXP to create and execute the Alexa Skill. The VoiceXP team is excited to work with Chingy and his team to help his brand harness the power of voice user interfaces to promote his music to his fans, and beyond. Stay tuned to the VoiceXP blog for the launch of Chingy’s historic campaign.

Register Here to Join the Live Office Hours Webinar with VoiceXP & Chingy!

Check Your Lambda Size – It Matters

Problem

For a simple skill, I noticed that the cold start time increased dramatically after adding an analytics API call to my lambda.

So, I wrapped the call and found that the single call accounted for approximately 70% of my startup time when the lambda size was 128 MB even though the actual memory used was 52 MB.

Compare that to the significantly faster time with a 1024 MB lambda sizing where even though the call results in 60% of the start time, the overall time is 4.5 seconds faster:

#1 – Small Lambda Size

Memory Size: 128 MB

Max Memory Used: 52 MB

Duration: 5080.36 ms

Billed Duration: 5100 ms

Analytics API Call Duration: 3501 ms (69% of duration)

#2 – Larger Lambda Size

Memory Size: 1024 MB

Max Memory Used: 50 MB

Duration: 594.48 ms

Billed Duration: 600 ms

Analytics API Call Duration: 344 ms (58% of duration)

Check Your #lambda Size – It Matters! #VoiceXP #Voicefirst Click To Tweet

Data

I did additional tests where the only thing that changed was the lambda size and found that the larger the lambda size, the faster the API call happened. The duration in the below table is just for the single call initialization of the analytics logger:

Lambda Size (MB) Analytics API Call Duration (ms)
128 3501
256 1562
320 1081
384 901
448 782
512 719
576 619
640 554
1024 344

Solution

I was surprised that a single call would affect my startup time so much and the use of a single package would require me to increase the lambda size. I would be interested in understanding what that single line of code is doing that has such consequences.

Even though the underlying cause is currently a mystery, the solution was to increase the lambda size from 128 MB to 512 MB.

Using the Lambda Pricing Page, we learn that we are charged for lambda compute usage for a single execution based on this formula:

Duration (s) * (Lambda Size in MB / 1024) = Total compute (GB-s)

This calculation doesn’t include request charges as the number of calls is less than the free 1 million requests per month.

Lambda Size (MB) API Call Duration (s) Total Compute (GB-s)
128 3.501 0.438
256 1.562 0.391
320 1.081 0.338
384 0.901 0.338
448 0.782 0.342
512 0.719 0.360
576 0.619 0.348
640 0.554 0.346
1024 0.344 0.344

These numbers indicate that we are actually spending more (higher GB-s value) when we go with 128 MB lambda sizing instead of either 512 MB or 1024 MB. This is of course looking at the micro level of a single API call and we need to consider the bigger picture. But in this case, we can decrease the time it takes to cold start the Alexa skill lambda and it saves us money on AWS charges.

Thanks to Alexa Champion, Terren Peterson, for his excellent article, Performance Tuning Alexa Skills using AWS Lambda. I also appreciate VoiceLabs for being receptive of my feedback and encouraging other developers to join forces to solve this.

Extra Credit

If you are interested in doing some testing of your own, let me know if you solve the mystery. Here are the packages that my skill is using:

"dependencies": {
   "alexa-sdk": "^1.0.9",
   "aws-sdk": "^2.54.0",
   "lodash": "^4.17.4",
   "node-bitarray": "^0.1.0",
   "voicelabs": "^1.0.1"
},

I have tried moving the require for voicelabs before lodash and the slow timing is still associated with voicelabs. I need to try this with a newer version of alexa-sdk and wonder if there is any issue that voicelabs references alexa-sdk 1.0.7. I am storing user session in DynamoDB, if that is another clue.

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 The Brightest Minds in Voice Experience Unite

On August 31st VoiceXP organized a live Voice Experience Disruption at Venture Cafe, in St. Louis, Mo. 

Voice technology is changing the way people do business, and its impact will only continue to grow. Analysts predict that 30% of web browsing will be screenless in 2020, and that voice technology will be a $10 Billion dollar business.  The event cultivated great conversations between some of the brightest minds in voice, and there is a lot to discuss, as the use cases and market for voice technology grows.

The Brightest Minds in #Voice Experience Unite! #voicefirst Click To Tweet

The forum of experts included:

Nandini Stocker, Head of Conversation Design and Advocacy & Partnerships @Google

Now head of Conversation Design Advocacy and Partnerships at Google, Nandini has created voice experiences for over 17 years in 60+ languages and 120+ countries. She is passionate about helping people find help and creating an ecosystem of creative technologists to unlock the future of truly enabling interfaces that honor the core, evolved power of human communication.

Bradley Metrock, CEO of Score Publishing and VoiceFirst.fm podcast

His companies have the mission of helping people become better interactive content creators. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, the company is the home of both The Alexa Conference (Jan 18-20) andVoiceFirst.FM, a media network for the new era of voice-first computing.

Bob Stolzberg, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer @VoiceXP

Bob is the Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of VoiceXP, a St. Louis based enterprise software as a service company. VoiceXP provides the worlds best brands and businesses with the complete enterprise Voice Experience.

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VoiceXP Office Hours: Black Friday Cyber Monday

This week we launched Office Hours,  a live webinar series hosted by the VoiceXP team. The premise behind Office Hours is to share with our customers, both current and prospective, the new and exciting opportunities that Voice Experience™ technology has to offer.

In this episode, Karim, Doug, and Mark share the how retailers can take advantage of the VoiceXP Black Friday & Cyber Monday Promotion. This promotion allows enterprise businesses to market their custom holiday specials on the hottest engagement channel, Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant voice platforms.

VoiceXP Office Hours,Sept. 12th, Topic: Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Watch the @VoiceXPInc office hours: Learn how #voicexp can help #enterprises w/ their #BlackFriday… Click To Tweet

Click here to subscribe to Office Hours, the best way to stay updated on what’s hot in the voice industry and how it impacts you, your customers, and your business.

Click here or on the image below to learn more about how the VoiceXP Black Friday & Cyber Monday Promotion can help elevate your market reach, connect with a Voice Ambassador today!

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Amazon Alexa Educates on Teenage Depression

In our Amazon Alexa Skill of the Week series, we generally highlight applications and skills for businesses. In this weeks series, we are highlighting a skill that was created to help benefit a great foundation which is raising awareness around an important social issue,  teenage depression and anxiety.

Drew Firment and Terren Peterson collaborated to develop the Speak Up Amazon Alexa Skill, for the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation.  The mission of the foundation is to fulfill Cameron’s dream and legacy by being a positive force that works to cultivate awareness and understanding of teenage depression and anxiety. You can learn more about Cameron’s inspiring story here.

Alexa Skill of the Week

The Speak Up Skill currently has the following functionality:

  • You can say, give me a quote and I will read an inspirational quote.
  • You can say, play Cameron’s song and I will play a song that is a tribute to Cameron Gallagher.
  • You can say, give me a minute of mindfulness and I will help you relax.
  • You can say what are upcoming events, and I will list you what events the foundation has on the calendar.
 Leverage the Power of Voice for a Great Cause
#Amazon #Alexa Educates on Teenage Depression. #socialgood #voice Click To Tweet

Drew Firment and Terren Peterson have both committed to donating $1 for each 0f the first 100 users that try the skill, and VoiceXP will match their commitment!

To learn more or to download the Speak Up Skill, visit the site here or it can be activated via the Alexa app, available for both Apple and Android.  From there you can simply say “Alexa enable Speak Up” and make a positive impact for a great cause!

december, 2017

27nov01decAWS re:Invent - Building Natural Language Dialogs with Alexa

14dec11:30 am1:30 pmInnovation & Peer Exchange Lunch about Productivity Tools and the Voice ExperienceLearn how new Productivity Tools and Voice Platforms like Microsoft Cortana, Alexa & others are disrupting the technology world.

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