It was very exciting to see the announcement from Amazon about being named an Alexa Champion. When we founded UCIC, we believed profoundly that the interaction with technology around us needed to be simple, easy and less distracting. Five years later, voice is becoming the normal and billions of dollars have been spent over this period in developing technologies that make it possible for voice interaction to be ubiquitous.
We (UCIC) are excited to be on the forefront of this new wave and have now worked with many companies — including brands you know — to help experiment and test voice in their products or move them towards a market-ready product with voice. We’ve gone through gut wrenching troughs of technological challenges of getting a product to work and the violent act of birthing a hardware product.
Throughout this time, we’ve brushed up against the giants, trying not to get crushed as they advanced with their own projects or get swallowed by their large wakes. When Amazon launched the Echo, UCIC was still putting out the Ubi and the Echo was competitive. Ironically, we were selling the Ubi on Amazon.com and for a few months, even after the Echo was launched, it was the only product of its kind on the site that was shipping.
However, at that point, we were already transitioning to our new model of helping other hardware companies and it wasn’t long before we started to see that Echo, Alexa Skills, and eventually Alexa Voice Service would be a large buoy to UCIC’s business. The growing Alexa team has been open, supportive, and is equally excited as us to work promote the new wave of voice interaction.
We’re looking forward to what’s ahead for Alexa and will continue to champion voice interaction on hardware.