Google Home, Alexa and Siri are only the tip of the voice powered iceberg. Pat Montague, vice president of betaworks told TechCrunch that voice powered technologies will help “get computers out of the way.” According to the article, approximately half of the Amazon Echos in users’ homes are located in the kitchen. This is the perfect place for hands-free technology. However, there are likely other spaces that would benefit from voice powered technologies. Pat Montague and betaworks, in partnership with leading tech companies, are encouraging innovation through betaworks voicecamp.
Betaworks voicecamp will select between eight and 10 applicants for participation in the program, which will include mentoring and a $125,000 uncapped note for each company, to be used as pre-seed funding. The application process is currently open to startups with outside capital currently pursuing projects in conversational interface technologies.
The 11-week program starts and ends in the spring of 2017. The program’s partners include Google Assistant and GE and the program itself will be led by leading players in the industry speaking on topics such as artificial intelligence, conversational interfaces and verbal computing. The program’s main focus is on conversational interfaces that seamlessly connect the user to information through voice power alone. Mentors from Slack, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Samsung, IBM and others will work with selected teams.
Although necessity is usually considered the mother of invention, the creative talent in these startups will have the ability to recognize the need for voice powered tech before the necessity arises. We are all familiar with the need for hands-free tools for driving, for the kitchen and for other areas around the home. Industries like healthcare, aviation, drones, communication, education and others would surely benefit from voice powered tech. The innovation arising from voicecamp could prove to be influential beyond the household kitchen.