Meet Viv (Siri 2.0)

Yesterday C.E.O and Co-Founder of Viv and Siri Dag Kittlaus presented his newest creation and digital personal assistant, Viv.

He suggested, once every decade or so we’re see a paradigm shift in our interactions with computers, the Internet, smart phones and he suggests going forward the next shift will be in digital personal assistants. The ability to talk to your device.

Now I’m not suggesting this is a new thing, personal assistants have been around since before Apple bought the initial start up company Siri co-founded by the same guy. However over the last 5 years or so these personal assistants are still cropping up (OK Google, Cortana) and they are still fairly simple in what they can actually do. Checking the weather, sending a message, what time is it in Croatia. But you cannot yet order a pizza, book a hotel room, book a flight abroad or ask more complex, more natural speaking questions such as what was the weather like near Big Ben four Wednesday evenings ago.

This is where Viv comes in, Viv is a self coding personal assistant which will self code a users intent and automatically grab and adjust itself accordingly. In the case of asking the question, what was the weather like near Big Ben four Wednesday’s ago, Viv will quickly write and connect all the services it needs, weather app, time zone converter, location, calendar and respond accordingly.

But Dag has much bigger plans for the assistant by having it able to access 3rd party applications and have it on any and all devices. Rather than getting a new device and setting up your assistant from scratch, Viv will follow you and learn with you, your food tastes, favourite places and recommend appropriately according to your personal preferences.

Dag also showed off it’s capabilities by telling Viv to “Send Adam 20 bucks for the drinks last night”. Based on Viv’s knowledge of the user (address book, PayPal) Viv was able to bring up the payment service and complete the transaction. He also booked a hotel room in less than 30 seconds just by asking Viv.

He envisioned, in the era of Internet of Things, Viv could be utilised broadly across all devices and technologies from booking holidays to making a coffee in the morning.

My initial thoughts on this where promising, and after a little digging obviously so are others, Facebook and Google have already made bids for the company with multi billion dollar companies itching to get their hands on the newest and biggest virtual assistants for their devices. It would be interesting to see if Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, Google and Facebook played ball and allowed Viv access in their respective Operating Systems, that way users would simply log in with their new devices and their own personal virtual assistant would immediately be there.

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