Meet the Team: Michael Polzin

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We have a wonderful team working on Josh.ai. This is the first in a series of interviews with our team, starting with Michael Polzin.

1. Name: Michael Polzin.

2. What do you do at Josh: Software Engineer focusing on device integration. Mostly AV and music, though I support other devices as well.

3. Where are you from: I’m from Minnesota originally and went to school at Kansas State University.

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4. Which office do you work in: Denver

5. What do you love about the smart home: The direction it’s headed. There are a few factors that make it hard to love the smart home if you’re not either A) Rich, or B) a do-it-yourselfer, but I’m really excited about the trajectory that smart devices and smart homes are headed and am glad we’re pushing an easier to use smart home than what currently exists.

6. What are you most excited about over the next few years: I’m most excited for voice interaction with your home and devices to change how we think about interacting with those devices. It’s easy to say “turn off the lights”, but adding more complex functionality like “I’m about to watch a movie” which dims your lights and prepares your TV, that’s more exciting. I think there are a lot of dynamics that voice control will fundamentally change and I’m excited to see how future homes will handle that.

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7. iPhone or Android: iPhone, but I’d be lying if I said I preferred it.

8. What do you do for fun: I play hockey, and watch altogether too much TV. I like skiing and hiking and spending time with friends.

9. If you could go anywhere, where would it be: Australia and/or New Zealand. So I’m excited to be knocking Australia off of that list in the near future :)

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10. Favorite restaurant: Restaurant I go to most often? Chipotle. Favorite? Hole in the wall diners basically anywhere. Greasy and homemade(ish) = ❤

11. Favorite IoT / smart home product: I have a love/hate relationship with Sonos, but the most exciting “smart device” in my opinion is turning the TV and entertainment center into a smart product. Some of the TV tech may not be there yet, but mitigating those issues with IR blasters still makes for a pretty cool experience overall. Coming home and telling my TV to turn on whatever show I’m watching is surprisingly satisfying.

12. What is your favorite feature of Josh: Ease of use. I don’t have to open up one app for lights, and another app for music, and another app for whatever else. It just handles everything in one ecosystem without much hassle. The fact that the voice inputs are more robust than any other voice commands I have seen make it really easy to use without the frustration of having to say the exact right command (e.g. “turn on the lights” works just as well as “lights on” and “turn the lights on” etc. The list goes on.).

13. Favorite books / reading material / websites: I’m on Reddit fairly often, but when I’m not there I tend to read mostly fantasy books. A Song of Ice and Fire is a great read for any Game of Thrones fan. I’ve enjoyed some of the canonical books surrounding the Star Wars universe, and a Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings re-read is never off the table.

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