Amazon’s Alexa may be the market leader when it comes to voice-control home help but its position is under threat. With smart technology improving and more companies getting in on the artificial intelligence (AI) action, new options are starting to emerge. One such option is being developed by Josh.ai. The start-up has been working on its own AI smart system since 2015 and recently generated another $11 million in investment.
That capital is on top of the $11 million it previously raised to fund its venture. Although toppling the likes of Amazon isn’t easy, Josh.ai is aiming to do it with a top-down, privacy-based strategy where integration is key. With issues surrounding data usage hurting Amazon and Google in recent years, Josh.ai has focused on privacy. In addition to anonymized data to improve services, almost all of the system is built on a custom language processing stack.
Premium Home Assistant Built on Privacy
This means it doesn’t rely as heavily on third-party voice recognition technology from Google and Microsoft. In line with its privacy driven approach, the technology is also being aimed at the top of the market. The professionally installed systems go beyond a portable hub that sits a table or kitchen worktop. The hardware is integrated into the home and can cost upwards of $10,000. For CEO Alex Capecelatro, this is how AI home assistants should be. Although the cost will need to come down before it’s viable for all consumers, the idea of full integration is one that jives with the latest trends in smart entertainment.
Take, for example, Samsung’s “The Wall” series. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019, Samsung previewed its new 75-inch micro-LED TV. Although large, it’s the smallest version of the technology so far and a sign that making the devices more viable for the average home is becoming a priority. These smart devices not only sit flush with a wall but provide crisp images from all angles. Because no backlighting is required, the images are crystal-clear from every direction. What’s more, the devices are fully internet-connected, which means you can access a wealth of online entertainment with a click of a button or through the voice controls.Within the live streaming sector, smart technology has also been used to create a fully-integrated gaming experience. Today, live dealer casino sites feature crossover technology that means gaming fans don’t have to leave home. Products such as live blackjack and roulette use RFID trackers and webcams to broadcast games to online players. In recent years, this technology has become smarter in the sense it can now combine the best of both worlds. “First Person” games allow users to switch from digital to live action and not leave the table. The emergence of this technology plays into Capecelatro’s point that smart technology should be integrated, seamless and all-encompassing.
Integration is the Key to Making Smart Tech Really Smart
Having a home assistant sitting on your table is great. However, as technology improves and more systems become connected, this will soon feel too basic. It was ok for TVs to simply show recorded content 30 years ago, but it’s not now. Now we want TVs to connect to the internet, listen to us and become part of our home. It’s the same with live casino technology. Once it was enough to keep digital and live tables separate. Now they need to be integrated to remain interesting and relevant. Home assistants are no different.
Josh.ai is aiming to go beyond the basic and make our walls smart, not just a single point in our homes. Of course, beating the likes of Amazon and Google and reaching that goal won’t be easy. However, with another $11 million to spend from unnamed corporate investors, it certainly has a chance. That, in turn, means our home assistants may soon be smarter and, importantly, more integrated into our homes.