Update: Find XOWi on Kickstarter.
Ahmed Bouzid and Weiye Ma are convinced that the time has come for the voice based UI and its integration with wearables and the Internet of Things. To this end, the two speech technology innovators have turned their efforts to developing XOWi (pronounced Zoey).
XOWi is a wearable voice badge that has functions ranging from turning off air conditioning to checking social media, weather, or traffic conditions. The device has a companion app for all the major platforms, which it connects to using Bluetooth Low Energy. While the device will launch with support for many functions, XOWi will also have an API that will allow developers to build new voice modules. The founders’ vision behind the device centers around (1) focusing on specific, meaningful use cases that users will actually adopt for voice UI, (2) decreasing interaction effort so users don’t have to commit their hands, eyes, and focus, and (3) keeping the device within range of use, which is achieved by using a wearable.
We are excited by this promising team’s effort to build a device and platform that will enable users to interact effortlessly with digital services and the Internet of Things. One key to the company’s strategy is enabling the application level layer to be easily augmentable via interaction with an open API. We look forward to following the company’s Kickstarter.