Wearbots: The future of communication with our digital environment
We are living a new dawn of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), mainly associated with concepts such as Machine Learning, Big Data and Chatbots. At Zerintia we are always looking for new ways to interact with wearables and connected devices (IoT devices). We are now presented with a great opportunity across various environments – we can have a virtual assistant at our disposal which is accessible by using our voice, and who is able to connect to the information required by a worker or patient whenever he needs or requests it. Furthermore, the use of voice-activated Bots enables us to connect with our world in a natural and intuitive way, gaining advantages and an efficiency never before attainable.
This breakthrough is even more effective when considering integrating it with Wearables (glasses or smart watches). The user normally interacts with these devices by using hand gestures in front of the camera or pressing different buttons, and it is here where voice becomes of great importance to enhance the experience.
What is a Chatbot?
Bots are autonomous services (software) that interact with humans through natural language and are integrated into several applications. Their purpose is to provide support and offer services to users in an intuitive manner by means of a conversation. They mainly rely on artificial intelligence (AI) tools and algorithms, and among other benefits, Chatbots spend less resources, space and battery than conventional Apps.
Nowadays, thousands of companies are developing their own Bot frameworks to offer to customers and businesses. Microsoft , Facebook an Amazon are among them.
The clearest purpose for companies using these platforms is offering a differential service to their customers and improving the purchase experience. Along these lines we have Uber or Pizza Hut, who are working in collaboration with Facebook for ordering a pizza or transportation. But they also allow for the management of the status of an order, returns or incident reporting.
The use of Chatbots in medicine and healthcare (Healthbot) imply a step further in the benefits provided by wearables and remote integral healthcare management systems with patients. Some potential uses are:
• Support for patients with limited mobility.
• Assistance in case of emergency situations.
• May help with motivation regarding our personal challenges or help us sleep.
But one of the most important uses for a Healthbot associated with a wearable device is adherence to the treatment; in other words, helping a patient stick to a healthy lifestyle and take the medication indicated by his doctor. A smart watch with a microphone and a speaker to communicate with the patient will allow it to perform a series of tasks:
• Reminder for taking medication.
• Communication interface to know the patient’s mood.
• Request a doctor’s appointment.
• Access his treatment’s information.
• Call for help in case of emergency or fall.
• Collect patient information (weight, blood glucose, etc.) to submit it to the physician.
• Make recommendations regarding the treatment.
We have seen Chatbots have great uses for the management of customers and Call Centre support, but we cannot forget that Wearbots can be used for logistical and industrial purposes (Industrybot).
Allowing a fast, direct access to the information contained in backend systems such as Oracle or SAP. This presents great challenges to NLP programming (Natural Language Processing), flow systems and scripts that will provide a “natural” feel and fluidity.
In these highly complex environments, using wireless earphones and microphones that facilitate a good communication can be very useful, in addition to the use of a CUI (Conversational User Interface) to optimize the process and transform information into something audible and comprehensible.
Some uses in industrial environments and benefits of a Bot assistant:
• Access to support documents: at the user’s spoken request, he will be able to visualize documents or videos on his smart glasses, in addition to listening to audio documentation.
• Priority-based management of notices and warnings.
• Monitoring and tracking of worker’s health, acting as a “Guardian Angel”.
• Changes and modifications on a 3D object using Augmented Reality.
It is important to keep in mind that every Wearable is able to access sensitive company information, so recognition of the user’s voice and management of the device’s proximity will improve security.
How does a Chatbot work and how is it structured? Case study: Alexa.
Alexa is Amazon Echo’s virtual assistant. It uses its “skills” system to respond to user requests, allowing it to perform a myriad of tasks, from playing music or requesting a car from Uber to searching on Wikipedia. The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) is used for the development of these abilities – a kit for programmers that includes documentation, sample code and APIs for developing a personalized smart platform. David Limp, Senior Vice President for Devices at Amazon, says: “We believe the next big platform is the voice.”
The Alexa Voice Service (AVS) system enables companies that are developing devices, wearables or IoT included, to use the power of Alexa customized with their own software solutions integrated with hardware. With the purpose of complementing it and providing it with enhanced features, it facilitates integration with Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Other Chatbots that should be considered are MSG.AI for integration with e-commerce systems or Mosaic, which allows for the connection to wearables and IoT. The latter have developed an integration with Amazon Echo and the Tesla electric car.