Kumar Rangarajan was driving when he heard his daughter call out to the car speaker. “Alexa, lower the volume,” she said. Now, the car wasn’t really the domain of Alexa—Amazon’s voice-controlled digital assistant—and the volume didn’t come down, but the moment stayed with Rangarajan. In fact, it was instrumental to his shift from the US to India to start Slang Labs with co-founders Giridhar Murthy and Satish Gupta. “I was really unimpressed by Alexa initially. Then one day I found myself trying to switch off the lights in my house by telling the voice assistant to do it. That’s when I realised that voice could be the future of interfacing,” he says.
Easier said than done: Building for the voice-first audience
Startups such as Slang Labs, Reverie and Liv.ai are developing voice interfacing tools to make it easier for regional language users to navigate apps. Getting them to shop online, however, is a whole different ball game
Voice interfacing is set to change how regional language users interface with mobile apps
These voice interfacing tools will have to recognise not just 22 Indian languages, but the various different dialects they are spoken in
Start-ups like Slang Labs, Reverie and others are customising voice for 'the'Bharat' use-case
E-commerce is enthusiastic about voice-tech. But can it convert voice users to online shoppers?