The availability of advanced voice-based conversational interfaces is going to affect the way consumers interact with technologies. With advances in AI, the possibilities of a voice-activated world have not just become a reality but hold massive potential in businesses. It is remarkable how this new technology that is still on the verge of taking “baby steps,” has already transformed into a $300 billion industry today. One of the pioneers to have nurtured voice-based technology with the use of AI, and a host of other technologies, is SmartBeings, a silicon valley based company that was formed to provide innovative enterprise electronic products & AI Platform for its clients. Here are some of the perspectives into how the company has achieved finesse in the industry, according to the founders, Himanshu Kaul and Joe Santos.
Identifying Specific Challenges and Building Solutions and Addressing them
After spending a lot of time on the enterprise side, we realized corporates are prolonged in terms of innovation. This is because the approval processes even for small innovative ideas, are very slow and take considerable time to reach the top management. We realized voice-based technology is the future and has massive potential in businesses which is why many organizations want to adopt this technology. We felt the need to address this market and help our clients with innovative and customized products. This led to the creation of WooHoo, an award-winning AI-driven cloud-based platform for enterprises driven by our proprietary devices and software. Innovation is all about creating a degree of laziness and being able to control things through your voice is an exciting innovation in itself.
Our device is the only one of its kind to have a 4G LTE built into it and we work with some of the top Telco carriers worldwide. We are focusing on five verticals, namely, hospitality, healthcare, retail, banking, and automotive industries that would also include offices and building automation. We have two divisions in our solutions—one is WooHoo for consumers where we focus on the home AI assistant and it follows the B2B2C model., and another is for enterprises where we build customized Enterprise AI Assistants.
We have our own SaaS based platform that functions well with the other connected devices and integrates with other enterprise solutions like SAP, Salesforce etc. Think of us as an enterprise and consumer IoT platform provider that has strong AI and advanced machine learning capabilities. The device is Android-based, so it supports many applications and is all about integrating with the platform. People have already become familiar with voice assistants at home, and they are the same people who wonder how to implement the technology in businesses. So, this was the primary requirement that kept coming to us from different enterprises and businesses, and this led to us working on Voice-as-a-Service (VaaS) solution.
Imagine a CEO, who wants to know about the quarterly revenue of the company and he sends e-mails to his assistant followed by the sales head who will then run a report that will take a significant amount of time. On the contrary, when using WooHoo, the device can easily access information from the cloud or SAP or Salesforce, whichever is the backend application and provide the answer.
We allow customers to customize, build, and brand the whole device and our SaaS based platform based on their requirements
We allow customers to customize, build, and brand the whole AI Assistant device, SaaS based Enterprise Platform and apps based on their requirements. By customization, we mean building, branding and designing the user interface as per customer requirement and also the wake words as according to the brand name of the customer. If a large chain of hotels wants the device with a screen that can recognize the guests on their arrival and greet them, we can enable that functionality. Even in the room, the device can be used to operate the switches, set up alarms, reminders, and also display top attractions in the city. In the banking industry, a majority of the end-consumers who wait in the line have same questions regarding loans and its various requirements. We can build FAQs, which the bank can customize with their product-specific answers and delight customers with voice-first banking experience, in addition to customizing the name, adding features like Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). In a nutshell, we license our software out to our customers and tailor it to their desires.
Facial recognition is one of the most important aspects of the product as it is not just always about the voice. Some of the features and functionalities can be activated by the face recognition technology as well. Take, for instance, a large coffee chain brand that wants to understand the demographic analysis of the customers; WooHoo can help with the same as it has voice, a screen with IoT and AI capabilities. With these four technologies, we can maximize the potential of our device which is the best in the world. We provide very personalized experiences with those abilities and that is our competitive edge. We have our own SaaS-based platform along with software that can be used to activate schedulers or access information even remotely. All the data can be stored in the cloud and can provide the analytics in order for the enterprises to enhance customer experience.
A Vision for the Future
We have two directions: popularize WooHoo among a vast consumer base and also become the first enterprise AI assistant in the world. Our team has a strong focus on the consumer side but we want to be the first device focusing on the enterprise, and we are open to different verticals as well. It is a new technology, and with any new technology, it does take time. We are trying to build the device for one vertical so that it can be modularized when a new vertical tries to absorb. We have a strong vision for expansion within the enterprise and also globally.