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Thanks, Sarah. Nice coverage with good insights into investor psych and real world dynamics.
10 months ago on Life after “Shark Tank” — The real story of how UniKey finally came to market
Always worth looking at, "how can we ship faster."
1 year, 1 month ago on Rally Software: The product of a “ship faster” mentality
Back in the day, I remember catalog stores, where you would shop from a catalog and there was some merchandise on display. You would order and then pick up the merchandise and take it home. Pricing was cheaper because there was less showroom space, and stores had warehouse space that could be crammed with product. I could see a concept Store where customers shop via tablet or mobile phone application (on their own device or the store's), they can view merchandise in person and choose to receive it immediately, or have it shipped for a lower price, more competitive with other online stores. This could result in more consumer loyalty, and once they install and use the catalog app on their device they can shop from home as well as travel to the store for an immediate purchase or to see products in person. Maybe the time is right for a resurgence of catalog stores?
1 year, 4 months ago on Retailers must hop on the connected consumer bandwagon before it’s too late
Great share and perspective.
1 year, 4 months ago on Getting into Y Combinator as a single, non-technical founder
@penenberg Really good piece, and well put together from the concept of threes. I did want to point out that there is a conflating of technologies that could be more clearly delineated for readers. (Coincidentally, the technologies also subscribe to the law of threes.) What you refer to as 'Siri' is actually a combination of three major technologies, where Apple's Siri is generally recognized as the resulting service, but where it/she is also often misidentified as the components of the service as well.
The first piece of the service is speech recognition. The speech recognition component of Siri is widely understood to come from Nuance, who provides the speech recognition technology to Apple. I don't believe Apple even refers to the speech recognition engine as 'Siri' when not coupled with the other pieces of technology that delivers results based on speech recognition, such as when using the microphone to fill in text fields in email, text messages, or anywhere else. Google has arguably more accurate and faster technology when it comes to speech recognition, that they built in house, and which was the main purpose of the goog411 directory assistance service that Google closed down once they had a sufficiently large voice sample set to optimise their speech recognition engine. Google's Android appears to combine on-board processing with cloud processing, to deliver superior speed and results. Apple's iOS speech recognition [Nuance] appears to require the entire voice recording be sent to the cloud, where it is processed, and then the resulting text string is sent back to the device.
Second is the intent engine, and this is where I think Siri really shines. Without an extremely accurate and robust intent engine, Siri would not know what words in the speech recognition text string are important, or how to deal with them. One of the hardest parts of the technology we generally refer to as Siri, is its ability to discern intent, taking into consideration many factors including the speech recognition text string, time of day, place, and any other context that is useful in fulfilling requests. Siri must parse the user's intent in order to determine where to route requests. How else would the phone (computer) know to send a text, dial the phone, make an appointment, or query Wolfram Alpha? Apple bought the company, Siri, for this purpose. This is the important piece that fills the gap between speech recognition and the third part of any human-machine voice interface, text to speech. Apple likely has the best intent parsing engine at this point in time.
Text to speech is the third component of any voice interface. This is what allows the computer to speak responses to voice queries and ask follow up questions to help it disambiguate user intent. Apple arguably has one of the better text-to-speech engines, having included TTS in their operating system since the 1980's, and offering TTS accessibility features in the iPhone from its launch. I initially thought the iPhone would be unusable by visually impaired people, having no tactile keypad for input. I was surprised to learn just how useful the iPhone is and how much it caters to the visually impaired. Even Stevie Wonder would publicly thank Steve Jobs on stage for caring to include features, primarily a TTS response system when in 'accessibility mode' that allowed him and others to use Apple devices. [http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/09/15/stevie_wonder_thanks_steve_jobs_for_making_ios_devices_fully_accessible.html]
I personally think this is an exciting 'fourth act' for human machine interaction. All the major computing platforms are focusing on the coming (or improving) voice interface. Anecdotally, average practiced humans generally type 40 to 80 words per minute on a desktop keyboard, while we can generally only eek out about 20-30 words per minute on a mobile phone's qwerty keypad. Compare this to our ability to clearly speak at 150 words per minute. An effective human-machine voice interface will usher in a new level of increased efficiency and opportunity, and be a boon for applications and services that help free us from being tied to our machines with both hands and both eyes.
I look forward to the unfolding maturation of this fourth act, and watching developments of the nascent fifth act, where we don't even have to move our lips.
- Steven Echtman, CEO HearPlanet
- - - - -
HearPlanet is the world's largest audio guide where travelers learn and share about places. The service is accessible on any smartphone and will soon be available to drivers directly via in-dash navigation and entertainment systems.
1 year, 6 months ago on Apple’s Next Act
Time to Burn is a great app. Also check out iBurn 2012 to find out about, and geolocate, Theme Camps, Events, and Art.
HearPlanet.com provides access to audio content on the Burning Man sponsored art installations. From any free version (iPhone, Android or Mobile Web) type: #bm2012 into the 'what?' search field. If you are in northern Nevada just tap 'Featured.'
1 year, 6 months ago on How To Do Burning Man? There’s an App for That
Deep appreciation for the coverage here. We look forward to sharing our future developments as they're available to users.
- Link to 'web version' above is for mobile users - desktop and tablet browsers will forward to HearPlanet's main site.
- To hear about the Pinecrest Diner from your mobile phone, go to http://hearplanet.com/article/1032452/
1 year, 6 months ago on HearPlanet: Your Personalized Tour Guide to the Sound of the City
Exceeded expectations. Thanks.
Love to hear more guesses as to who the Genius is, now that his/her style is clearly discernible.
1 year, 7 months ago on Dear Startup Genius: Choosing Co-Founders, Burning Out Employees, and Lean vs. Fat Startups
Can't believe no comments for this piece yet. Must have covered all the bases. 3D scanning and uses for Kinect outside of gaming = super interesting. Thanks.
1 year, 7 months ago on Kinect 3D Body Scanner In First Store, Next Races to Ecommerce
Good luck on your next endeavor, @Amanda !
@sarah, could decline be due to increased mobile views and mobile video issues?
Also, I notice I read PandoDaily during the week, not so much on weekends. Test market of one here, but maybe a Friday post date has something to do with it.
1 year, 7 months ago on A Sad Goodbye to the PandoList and Amanda Schwab
Thanks, @KymMcNicholas !
Funny, I was reading the post on the iPhone and there was no reference to a video so imagined I was getting the full story (I know there are issues with video in pd's mobile views). I'll have to watch the video to learn more. There may be a great opportunity for a Getaround/HearPlanet partnership (let people listen to the world around them when 'Gettin' Around'...) We are really ramping our distribution partnerships.
(P.S. From an editorial standpoint, you may want to mention the presence of a video so mobile users get that there's something more to the story :)
1 year, 7 months ago on How Ashton Kutcher And Marissa Mayer Getaround
Sounds like a great service. Wondering how they deal with insurance, as theft/vandalism was such a big issue for Airbnb.
Hmmm, Trevor, we know a similar application with a slightly different take on things ;)
1 year, 7 months ago on On Your Left, You’ll See Tagwhat, Your Source For Localized Information
Are these the first ads Steve jobs has not had a hand in, in sme fashion?
1 year, 7 months ago on Ken Segall: Why Steve Jobs Never Put Customers in Ads
@AidsKeel Also thinking Arrington. Definitely has to be someone who loves to write.
1 year, 7 months ago on PandoDaily Launches New Advice Column “Dear Startup Genius”
Thanks for shining a light on Sparrow. Sounds like your sources are telling you that a new direction for the team is a fait accompli. It would really be interesting to have another native iOS/OSX mail client that performs well and integrates with contacts and calendars. Google would be a good co to build this, but probably won't happen...
1 year, 7 months ago on Why Google’s Sparrow Acquisition Just Ruined My Morning
@rodbauer Nice catch. Although I'm confused why the article title here is "On Those Employee Stock Claims, Pincus Says He Was Being Fair," but the title I get in my email updates to replies is "Stealing Zynga Stock Back? Pincus Says He Was Being Fair | PandoDaily." Why/when the switch?
1 year, 7 months ago on On Those Employee Stock Claims, Pincus Says He Was Being Fair
Great chat with Mark tonight. Thanks for the insightful lessons and stories from someone with huge experience and passion.
Yahoo still has a ton of valuable engineering talent, but how to reinvigorate and separate the wheat from the chaff?
Instead of straight layoffs (and not too dissimilar to @Raul I Lopez post), why not take every expendable body and create "Yahoo Survivor." Teams organize and compete to prove their relevance and every week losers get kicked off the complex (as voted on by Yahoo staff). Employees literally compete to keep their day jobs. Those not up for the challenge can walk with a standard severance package. This could quickly spur innovation and create the industry's largest skunk works. Yahoo would document everything and turn it into a media property (a cross between Survivor and Shark Tank) while birthing new innovative properties for the company.
At least it would be fun to watch :)
1 year, 7 months ago on Andreessen’s Advice to Marissa Mayer: Cut 10,000-Plus Jobs
Thanks for the great article and insights.