I attended the middle two days of this event in Newark, and there was plenty to see. Plenty new, plenty interesting, and plenty to talk about. Definitely an adjacency in this emerging ecosystem to collaboration - you wouldn’t normally associate these two worlds at face value - and that’s why I was there, to help bring the enterprise perspective.
Before the week is out, I only have time to share some photos, but more is coming. I’ll have a post next week for BCStrategies, and today I’m recording a podcast about it for my August newsletter. I’ve got some other posts in mind as well, so stay tuned.
I can’t validate their claim to be the “world’s largest voice event”, but it gets your attention. Pete Erickson welcoming the audience, and it was pretty big. They said 5,000 would be there, but I think it was more like 2-3k. So, Pete runs Modev (mobile developers), and that’s the organization behind the event. Last photo - the Amazon Alexa “quiet space”. The phone booth has always been a great concept, so here’s what it looks like in the digital age.
Adam Cheyer, VP R&D at Samsung - he’s one of the creators of Siri, and he’s in a great spot to make Samsung a major player in this space - just you watch. Next photo - one of an endless number of breakouts - this is Interactions - talking about using bots and conversational AI to make CX better - familiar to me, but I think very new to this crowd. Next, a slide from Voices.com - more on this later, but very interesting use case for hiring voice actors to tell your branding story. Last in this panel - one of my favorite moments - an ASL interpreter helping deaf attendees follow the sessions - loved seeing that.
Pindrop CEO Vijay B (very long last name!) talking about authentication challenges with AI-driven voice. Example here showing how Barack Obama evolved while in office - not just his looks, but also his voice - this was my favorite talk of the summit. Next photo - Tom Webster sharing highlights from the Smart Audio Report and how consumers are using digital assistants in the home. I’ll be writing about this study soon. Finally, some live jazz on tap during the Day 1 reception - this trio could really swing - loved it.
Wednesday night was the Voice Summit Awards, for which I was a judge. Pete Erickson hosting the awards event - was very fun. Highlight for me was meeting Thomas Chappell - wearing tie - he’s a deaf developer with Prudential Financial in Newark, who received an award, and addressed the audience the next day. Both in photo are deaf developers, and they were all smiles when we found out that they went to the same school as my deaf brother, NTID in Rochester. Cool! Finally, a pleasant surprise - Newark has a terrific LRT that runs through their subway tunnels. When built in the 1930s, these stations had beautiful tile work, and here's a great example from the Broad St. station.