Slang Visits … HCI India 2018

Sharing our experience of participating in HCI (Human Computing Interface) India 2018 conference

Carrying over the impetus from our talk at Redd Experience, we at Slang Labs added another leg to our tryst with the design community at large, by both exhibiting at HCI India and presenting as part of the UX Cafe track at the event. Representing Slang at the conference were a bunch of engineers, and we thought we’d be as out of place as our co-founder (we won’t say which one) at a bar. But it wasn’t to be! We couldn’t have received a warmer welcome, and we had two wonderful days of interactions, discussions and thought provocations (both for us and for the community)

Interacting with the visitors at the Slang Labs booth

This medium of Voice Augmented eXperiences (VAX) is prime for growth, and with one of our target markets being Apps looking to cater to the next billion, there is lot of scope for research into the way voice is being used, and is projected to be used, by those next billion. We have always known, but HCI India just opened our eyes wider at the fantastic number of ways in which technology used by those in non urban settings differed from those in urban settings, From the way detachable dongles are used to meter electricity in rural homes, to the way existing voice technologies are used to learn English (without specialized apps, but just by using Google’s speech to text on the search bar).

And while we took away that, we were happy to share our dream of voice + the GUI, being the medium of the near future to interact with your Apps, or even your phone. Apps being mature in market and tech, why sacrifice anything to just be able to use voice? Imagine being able to ask for exactly your favourite ‘Hawaiian Pizza’ without navigating any buttons, but also being able to scroll through the various options of garlic bread available when ordering home from your favourite pizza store, right in the same App ;)

Presenting about pros and cons of VAX

We were also surprised (read: overjoyed) at how voice is being promoted in design curriculum and being recommended to design students and design researchers to take up as medium to implement or to study, from either building Alexa apps to the qualitative study into the proliferation of voice based tech among various demographics. We hope those students reading this take shot at building or researching the potential of VAX’s and believe as much as us that VAX’s on Apps is another giant leap for mankind, even if it may be a small step for them.