Kicking off VoiceTech India Community
World of Voice looked very different when Slang started in 2017, especially in India. Alexa was still three years old, echo devices were yet to launch in India, and Google Assistant was still not mature enough. Voice was still a western phenomenon, primarily fueled by the adoption of smart speakers. There wasn’t much movement around voice technology in India. Ironically, unlike the west, for India, voice is a necessity and not just a convenience.
Heterogeneity and illiteracy in India make voice technology a crucial piece of the puzzle for the Next Billion Users to come online.
It’s nearly the end of 2019, India’s voice ecosystem has come far from what it was in 2017. We have a lot of interesting startups like Jiny.io, Niki.ai, Haptic, Gnani, Navana Tech and Mihup working in this space, solving different types of problems using Voice (both as Voice as input and output medium and across different mediums — apps, chatbots and call center).
Voice search is taking over, and rising 270% each year. Businesses are realising the importance of voice, and are adding it on different channels. Alexa is now almost six years old and even speaks Hindi. Google Assistant can do a lot more in many different Indian languages.
We attended Voice Summit 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. It was an annual voice conference conducted by Modev, which brings together everyone in the voice ecosystem from all around the world together at one place. Attending this event made us realize the necessity of having a voice community in India to grow the voice ecosystem here. After coming back from the conference, we searched for similar voice communities in India, only to be disappointed after weeks-long research. The closest to a voice community was ‘Alexa User Groups’ which was a walled garden only limited to Alexa developers.
There was a pressing need for an inclusive voice community where everyone working in the voice ecosystem in India could ‘Join. Participate. Contribute’. Instead of waiting around for someone to start this community, Slang Labs decided to start the community called ‘VoiceTech India’.
Join. Participate. Contribute
Ethos of VoiceTech India:
This community has been created as an open and inclusive community to get people and startups working and interested in Voice Technologies in a collective roof..err..group, including but not limited to developers, founders, researchers, designers, believers, students, and voice enthusiasts. The vision of this community is to accelerate the growth of Voice ecosystem of India and increase the awareness about the importance of voice for ‘Building for Bharat’.
What will happen in the community?
We will be hosting regular meetups, sharing the latest news around voice tech, helping startups who are innovating around voice to meet with businesses looking to add voice solutions, networking, hackathons, hands-on workshops, conferences and a lot more!
Why should I join the community?
The idea of the community will be to share and talk about the latest developments in the voice tech space, how it can impact your business, how to go about building apps with voice and voice apps, cutting edge research going in the field of ASR, NLP and TTS, best practices for designing voice interfaces and much more.
How do I join this community?
We recently conducted the first meetup of VoiceTech India called ‘VoiceTech in Apps’, stay tuned to read our blog about how it went.