The makers of iOS’s Voice Assistant Siri, Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer are back after 6 years of Isolation. After they sold Siri to apple in 2010 they have developed a new open AI system VIV which promises to take the personal voice assistants in your smart devices to a whole new level.
Viv, which has been in development for several years and received $12.5 million in funding in February 2015, will be able to take things one step further than Siri — it will actually let you do stuff without ever touching your phone or downloading an app. Ordering a pizza from start to finish or getting an Uber car in front of your house are some of the examples (Siri can help you order a pizza, but you can’t actually finish the order without tapping something on your phone).
Washington Post’s report doesn’t offer many technical details on how Viv achieves this, but it does say Cheyer and Kittlaus have partnered with 50 companies, including Uber, Ivee, SeatGuru, Zocdoc and Grubhub.
While getting Viv to do your bidding based solely on voice commands is one thing, getting it on people’s smartphones is another. According to the report, Viv has already been courted by several companies, including Facebook and Google, but its founders remain ambiguous on whether they plan to sell or go it alone.
The virtual assistant landscape since Apple launched Siri has changed significantly. Google’s got its Google Now helper, Microsoft’s got Cortana, and Amazon has Alexa, who lives on a wireless speaker called Echo, completely bypassing the smartphone.
Cheyer and Kittlaus’ pedigree, however, instantly makes Viv a very hot player in the space, and we’re looking forward to learning more on Monday.