Physical boundaries? Where we’re going there are no physical boundaries … at least when it comes to IoT, as industry innovations continue to challenge traditional notions of what a connected device looks like. And, yes, the landscape does seem downright "Back to the Future" inspired.
Beyond the confines of smartphones, tablets and computers, cloud-based solutions (like Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem) are empowering everything – from headsets to home sensors to users’ voices – with connected capabilities.
June’s Tracker cover story features an interview with Will Wang Graylin, Global Co-GM of Samsung Pay and longtime investor and board member to both People Power and ONvocal, two companies that joined forces to compete in PYMNTS’ 2016 Alexa Challenge with their app-powered acoustic interface product, OV.
Here’s a sneak peek:
The ONvocal team wanted to create a product that was truly integrated in order to elevate convenience and user experience, so in addition to being designed according to stringent acoustic standards, OV was also created with voice command – and Alexa — in mind.
“We dedicated both a hardware button and an electronic channel to be able to communicate and create great experiences for those types of interactions using this IoT device. Now there's truly this flexibility of, ‘I don't have to touch my phone.’ It could be in my pocket, my purse, I could click a button and it would start interacting naturally with my voice, and I can choose which service I want, and not just the service that comes with my phone,” Graylin explained.
The team has now integrated the hands-free hardware of OV with the voice-powered features of Alexa, creating a service that offered on-the-go control in a sophisticated acoustic environment.
Getting ahead in the IoT game
Also included in June’s Tracker are news highlights from throughout the IoT space. Google’s commitment to connected tech was a major trend this month, as the digital giant continued to experiment with different integrated products and services.
Alongside Levi’s, Google announced it is creating a connected, “smart” denim jacket that, through the power of IoT, will be able to make calls, play music, integrate with third-party apps and generally operate like a wearable device. Another product the company made strides with this month was its modular smartphone, Ara, whose customizable design is expected to make waves in the mobile industry. Google also launched its IoT platform, Google Assistant, which allows Google Home users to control household duties through spoken commands.
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About the Tracker
The PYMNTS.com® Internet of Things Tracker, sponsored by Intel®, showcases companies that are leading the way in all aspects of the Internet of Things. Every month, the Tracker looks at what these companies are doing across the ecosystem and in six categories: Devices; Infrastructure; Payments; Security; Software; and Data.