4 December 2018
Looking back on new tech in 2018, there was one word on everyoneâ€™s lips: Voice. Voice is booming and speculations are circulating about what Voice will mean for society, businesses and their customers. Of course, we were no exception, so we did what we love to do – dived right in and figured it out!
We took our signature approach of combining strategy with operations, kicking off a project to learn about Voice and the implications and opportunities it presents for our clients. We conducted market research into what other companies are doing well to better serve their customers: Google Pixel is your personal Voice-driven coach at the gym, Perfect Tap Games has created a fully Voice-driven game and AskMyClass launched a platform providing Voice-driven educational programs.
These are just some of the ways in which companies are adapting to the booming Voice industry. As we speak, SparkOptimus is working with several companies on exploring the opportunities and getting ready for piloting. Stay tuned for updates in early 2019! To say the least, we are very excited about all of the new possibilities we are discovering…
In the meantime, we got our hands dirty and built our very own Voice app. To develop the app, we took the Google Design Sprint approach, learning best practices by executing them. The first step was understanding our target audience and defining our goal: Who are the users? Would they be our partners? CEOs? How could Voice benefit them? Within half an hour, it became clear that the lives of our Sparkies were just about to get easier.
The second stage in our approach entailed sketching out our solution. Post-it notes were flying around and our sketching skills came into their own as we put ideas onto paper â€“ they ranged from booking flights to a virtual DJ for our Friday drinks. Following a classic impact-feasibility exercise, we eventually decided on our product: an office assistant!
During the prototype phase, we exercised some of our favorite skill sets, programming and learning new languages. Within a couple days, the MVP version of Sparkie, our brand-new virtual office assistant, was born. Finally, we validated the prototype with a couple of testers. And now our new Voice office assistant is live, helping Sparkies in our office!
As for the business implications and opportunities for the coming year, Voice represents the latest way to improve customer interaction. Already 20% of US households can be reached through Voice, and worldwide penetration is expected to quadruple next year. Just remember: You can never be too early, but you can be too late!