ZeroTouch and the Dual Personality

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Logitech has built a really cool device, ZeroTouch, that’s essentially an NFC-based vent clip / cellphone holder for your smartphone. When you clip your phone on the ZeroTouch, it operates a car mode where you can either wave your hand in front of the device or high five it to activate a voice mode.

It supports common things you’d want to do while driving: SMS, Navigation, and Calls. It will also read out loud notifications. The latter can be annoying as they still pop up on on the phone (and my watch).

However, the new Alexa integration on the device is interesting. While it doesn’t detect the wake word, when you activate the device through a wave of high five, you can add “Alexa…” and then make your request. It will detect that you’ve said Alexa and direct the request to the service and provide the result.

What’s interesting is that there are now two personalities to deal with on one device — the Zerotouch’s own TTS voice and Alexa. It’s a bit jarring to hear the response. Just envision tapping one person on the shoulder, addressing her friend, and then getting the friend to show up and respond.

This is a sign of things to come this year. Multiple personalities on a single device are going to be the norm until we find a way to unify them through a single avatar.

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