Virtual Assistants are part of the logical progression of computing from the monolithic mainframes of the 1950’s through tablets and laptops of today to wearable ‘ambient’ computing of tomorrow. We are at an inflection point, and notable thinkers like Geoffrey Moore believe computers are changing from being passive, hard-to-use ‘systems of record’ for storing and retrieving information to being ubiquitous, connected (the so-called ‘internet of everything’) and natural ‘systems of engagement’.
Much of this change is driven by the exponential increase in computing power together with developments in reliable and fast wireless connectivity. Together these are now enabling advances in user interaction and reliable services such as speech recognition that were not feasible even 5 years ago.
Virtual Assistants, Nina included, will continue to evolve and develop, becoming better at understanding us, more ‘intelligent’ with deeper and more flexible knowledge, and becoming more pro-active. As wearable computing becomes mainstream, speech input and output will become the dominant way to interact with these systems.
Forward-looking companies see how this presents a massive opportunity, not only for clear differentiation from their competitors but also to play a role in shaping this new area and creating opportunities for costs savings, revenue generation and a strategic defense against risks such as monetization of app access that wearables and services such as Google Now pose.