Josh.ai’s Unique Positioning Among Voice Assistants
Demand for home technology has grown significantly over the last decade, resulting in hundreds (if not thousands) of new smart products emerging. Voice control is naturally following suit as the preferred interface for users wanting to easily and efficiently communicate with their connected environments. While the mass market is saturated with DIY options that offer entry-level functionality, our partners and clients quickly find that integrating custom solutions transform a smart house into a truly intelligent home.
When looking at the landscape of voice assistants, our clients often ask us three key questions:
1. Can my entire family speak to Josh?
2. Does it record everything I say?
3. Does Josh get better over time?
Josh.ai simultaneously answers all three of these needs as a purpose-build product that delivers simple, private, and magical user experiences.
Simplicity — Voice Control that Works
The most significant pain point when comparing voice platforms is the unnatural way you have to talk to them. Most of the time, it does not feel like you are speaking to an assistant. Instead, it feels like you are talking to a robot.
Josh, however, leverages proprietary Natural Language Processing (NLP) to provide as contextual of an experience as possible. Anyone speaking to Josh should feel confident to refer to areas and devices however they see fit. The beauty of giving Josh commands is that you do not have to memorize specific trigger phrases to make it work. Josh simplifies complex requests thanks to its understanding of room location, active devices, and the range of features within your connected home.
For example, maybe you want to turn off the floor lamp next to your sofa and launch Netflix to surf for a show or movie. With a mainstream voice assistant, you will need to be very prescriptive when making these requests:
“Turn off the floor lamp in the living room”
“Turn on the TV in the living room”
“Turn on Netflix on the living room TV”
Depending on your assistant, you might be able to try combining this request into one or two commands. However, there is a high margin for error in that case due to its multi-device complexity and the number of words within the given command. You will likely have to break this into much smaller pieces to get the output you are trying to achieve.
With Josh, all you have to say is something like:
“Turn off the lamp by the couch and open Netflix.”
Josh understands the lamp you are talking about and what TV you want to watch Netflix on because it knows the room you are sitting in. This command is to-the-point while illustrating Josh’s awareness of your living spaces and the nuance involved in executing multiple actions at once.
Privacy — An Assistant that Knows its Role
Unlike other voice assistants, Josh does not listen to anything unless prompted to with its wake word. Today, Josh’s wake word is “Ok/Hey, Josh” by default. You can also adjust your system’s wake word if you live with someone named Josh to avoid any confusion.
After hearing its wake word, Josh determines if what was said is a valid command that needs to be fulfilled. Josh then processes the command and shows what was executed in its chat history. While the chat history is a valuable tool for users and the home technology professional supporting them, Josh clients ultimately have complete control over their smart home’s privacy settings. Clients can permanently delete their system’s chat history at any point and see for themselves that nothing they say is being recorded.
A strong stance on privacy means that Josh clients can speak freely knowing that their information will never be used for marketing purposes or monetized. Unlike the mass-market voice assistants, Josh’s sole focus is on providing the best smart home experience possible.
Magical — AI that is Always Improving
Artificial Intelligence can be a scary technology and concept when not fully understood. For consumers of sci-fi, we have visions of computers enslaving humans and other dystopian futures. At least in Josh’s case, it is built to delight all of our users while always getting better — We swear Josh will not lock you out of your home and throw away the keys unless you ask us to 😉
Part of optimizing the smart home of the future is not only reactionary control but providing proactive automation. AI learning is already an innovative feature that is evolving the Josh experience for our users. Based on prior commands and patterns, recommended actions are displayed in the AI Dash of the Josh app. For example, if you close your shades every afternoon when it gets hot, Josh will offer it as a suggested action today. In the future, opting into Josh’s AI learning will lead to your smart home automating on its own.
At Josh, we are excited to be on the leading edge of moving the intelligent home forward!
This article was written by Max Fiore, a Josh.ai Business Development team member. Originally from Connecticut, Max graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing.