Paris-based Smartly.ai today announced an update to its voice application development solution that enables software developers to create voice applications once and then deploy across multiple voice assistants. Smartly.ai was one of the earliest companies to offer voice application development software and originally targeted Alexa developers. Today, the company claims over 2,000 developers on its software and supports multiple chatbot and voice assistant platforms. The announcement for multiple-voice assistant support was timed to coincide with the release of Google Home in France.
A User Perspective
Smartly.ai makes three key claims. First, the company says the software is intuitive enough that a designer can use it and the solution will autogenerate code so a developer is not required. Second, Smartly.ai tools cover the full lifecycle of voice application and chatbot development including design, build, deploy and post-production usability analysis. Third, the voice application can be developed once and then deployed on multiple platforms automatically.
In an email interview earlier today, Voicebot connected with Smartly.ai user, Laurent Dunys, founder of The Bot Studio, to discuss the multiple voice assistant platform deployment. Mr. Dunys commented:
In the early 2017, we released the first Chatbot on FB Messenger that allows drivers to chat with their connected cars. When we discovered that our users liked to use [our bot] Talk To My Car at home in the morning when they were getting ready for work, we decided to propose a 100% voice experience in French on Google Home…We thought it would be really interesting to propose the same experience on Alexa in English, in order for us to test our solution in the UK market.We started using the Smartly.ai’s platform for the first time 2 weeks ago…In total, it took us 6 days to develop the 100% voice version of Talk To My Car on both Alexa and Google Home. Today, our voice app is in testing phase and we are reviewing Amazon and Google’s checklists for certification.
Company CEO, Hicham Tahiri, commented in an email interview that the Smartly.ai software also enables users to develop complex skills using recorded audio, SSML and multiple-turn conversations. This combination of features would appear to address two issues today in voice application development: lack of experienced voice application developers and voice assistant platform proliferation. The former constraint requires either training developers in voice or abstracting the development process and delivering tools that enable designers to build applications directly. The latter issue means that voice application publishers will not have to manage multiple versions of the same voice assistant application code base.