Message in a Bottle: How Multi-modal NUI is Influencing Messaging Apps

  • April 21, 2014 · 6:30 PM
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6:30PM - 7:00PM - Networking

7:00PM - 8:00PM - Message in a Bottle: How Multi-Modal NUI is Influencing Messaging Apps

With a $19B WhatsApp acquisition by Facebook, and multi-billion dollar valuations for other large competitors, mobile messaging apps are hot. Despite the crowded nature of the space, the user experience of messaging has evolved slowly.

Traditionally, technologies such as speech recognition, predictive text, speech output and gestures have been attempted for the most part by device manufacturers, not messaging app developers - since conventional wisdom is that messaging apps should primarily focus on user-base. As competitors seek to differentiate, new, clever uses of multimodal technology may emerge.

Heath Ahrens will discuss mobile messaging and it's evolution with regard to multi-modality NUI. He'll discuss what's now and what's next!

Ahrens is the creator of DriveSafe.ly, an award winning mobile app with 35 million downloads. It was named Mashable’s Best Mobile App of 2010 and won the CES Mobile App Showdown in 2011.  Ahrens debuted Talkz, a mobile messaging app using Voice Cloning technology and Speech Recognition at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2013. He is also the Founder and CEO of iSpeech, a text-to-speech (TTS) and speech recognition (ASR) provider with over 35k registered developers, including Pearson, Evernote and iTranslate. 

Ahrens was named to NJBIZ’s “40 under 40” and has presented speech technology and distracted driving at SpeechTEK, Mobile Voice Conference, CTIA and TEDx.

SPECIAL SURPRISES - Thanks to event sponsor O'Reilly Solid (from O'Reilly Media) this event will have some very special surprises. We're not going to tip our hand, but you must bring your business cards to get in on the action. Meanwhile, you can check out Solid and use this 20% discount code to register: UGNUI20

Solid web site:  http://oreil.ly/1goinVK


8:00PM - 8:30PM - Hang Out - Network

To get to WeWork Labs: the entrance to WeWork is on Charlton Street. Enter through the double glass doors that say WeWork. Go straight up several steps and go through another door. You'll see the elevators to your left.

Go to the 4th floor.


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  • Sergei T.

    I wish everybody was on schedule. That's why I was late. I'll see u all in May or before.

    April 22

  • Peter Hogan-De P.

    A great talk by the guys at iSpeech. It was great to get to see their new product.

    April 22

  • Gary P.

    I thought the presentation hit the right level of technical description mixed with business issues for this group. The presenter had a good idea of what the audience in general would understand. I wondered about the messaging app system, but I wonder why many apps work in the marketplace. It was interesting that a business could be made from users buying these little avatars, and linking it to their messages. It seemed similar to having themed voices in your GPS telling you directions.

    2 · April 21

  • Tina

    Cannot make it tonight but if you record this, I would love yo see it.

    April 21

    • Ken L.

      Kacy - great post. It's more of a UX issue than anything else, but it points out that detecting gesture is not enough to create a successful NUI interface.

      April 4

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