At CES 2017, more than 26 brands announced that they would release new products in the coming months with Alexa Voice Service (AVS) integration. Voice user interface (VUI) design has captured manufacturers’ attention, introducing a new and exciting way to build products that delight customers. However, being one of the first to build a non-Amazon device with Alexa is no easy task—just ask Invoxia.
In the 12 months since Invoxia launched Triby, its voice-controlled speaker and communications device with Amazon Alexa, the company has learned how to further optimize its flagship device to complement family life with new IoT and smart home capabilities. Invoxia will launch Triby IO, a newer high tech version of Triby, this summer. The enhanced product will feature a sleeker design and new smart home and visual features. You can pre-order the Triby IO now.
I spoke with Invoxia CEO Serge Renouard to learn more about his team’s foray into VUI design and what to expect from the Triby IO.
Q: It’s been almost a year since Triby officially launched with access to AVS. What have you learned about VUI design since then?
SR: We’re proud to be the first company to launch a product that integrates with AVS. It has been an amazing adventure thus far working with the AVS team, and we continue to have deep technical discussions about ways we can improve the customer experience with voice. Over the past year, we learned that wake word detection is a key part of building a high-quality device with Alexa—it requires specific skills to reduce false wakes on a device.
Q: What technical and feature-based enhancements did you implement to continue to bring the best possible experience to customers?
SR: Triby was in market prior to the Alexa integration, helping customers with smart home tasks and free voice calling. We released an over-the-air (OTA) update in April 2016 that brought Alexa to the device. That is by far our biggest achievement of the past year. Additionally, we’re working on ways to use visual aids to support voice responses from Alexa. For example, when a customer sets an Alarm with Alexa on the Triby IO, a Display Card will show the remaining time in that alarm. We believe this will improve the overall user experience.
Q: What are the main differences between Triby and Triby IO?
SR: Triby IO is an evolution of the current Triby product. It takes a step further in offering customers additional smart home services such as IFTTT and integrations with other connected home service providers. The original Triby product provided families with an easy way to communicate with each other whether at home or on-the-go. Triby IO is a connected smart home hub, enabling customers to turn on their lights, control the temperature, or open the garage door with voice or from a single press of a button. We’re also taking advantage of the Triby IO a lot more to display alerts, messages, and other screen-based notifications.
Q: Many companies are building products with voice interface as a core feature. What about Triby IO stands out to your customers?
SR: We spent years researching acoustic technology such as beam forming, de-noising, de-reverberation, echo cancellation, and speaker design. We feel that the sound quality is exceptional for such a small product. We have also invested in hands-free technology to enable customers to engage Triby from 15-feet away without needing to raise their voice. These two characteristics completely change the way people engage Alexa on the Triby IO.
Q: What do customers use Triby for most—what will your team invest in further to bring new features and capabilities to your customers?
Music is the most popular feature on Triby, whether customers are using Spotify Connect or playing Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, or TuneIn through AVS. Our biggest investment going forward will be in adding visual context to voice responses and voice-powered features. We’re excited to implement Display Cards with Triby IO, which will come later this year.
Getting Started with AVS
Alexa is always getting smarter with new capabilities and services through machine learning. As a developer, your product also gains access to new capabilities with Alexa through API updates, feature launches, and custom skills. Display Cards for Alexa will be generally available to developers later this year. Learn more on the AVS Blog.
Learn how AVS can add rich voice-powered experiences to your connected products on the AVS Developer Portal.
Have questions? We’re here to help. Visit us on the AVS Forum or Alexa GitHub to speak with one of our experts.