Meet Your Mobile Virtual Assistant

The Content Convergence Continues!

As computing power increases, “mashable” and findable data/content grows, GPS shrinks, partnerships and individual innovation explore, and it all comes together in the form of a handheld device like the iPhone, Blackberry, and myriad Androids being rolled out on a weekly basis, we continue to see the rise of applications that only a few years ago seemed the stuff of science fiction.

Ladies and Gentleman, it’s the mobile content economy – and it’s going to impact your business one way or another. Isn’t it time get prepared?

The latest indication of this is Siri – Your Mobile Virtual Assistant.

Smartphones are not new, speech recognition is not new, but the concentration of power/content/data and location with contextual, “geographically smart” speech recognition, opens up interesting possibilities.

View the demo below (or download the app to your iPhone or Blackberry), before going on…

Just as with the business models of travel sites such as Orbitz, or Kayak, and similar meta-aggregators or “meta businesses” – new business model innovation is afoot!

It turns out that being *the* aggregation point for information, even given away for “free” (as far as the user is concerned at least), is quite the healthy business model.

The trick is to:

  • Do it well = user experience and usability
  • Do it with completeness = solid data/content partners
  • Make it idiot proof = semantically smart speech recognition
  • And not to presume that as the, in this case, mobile app provider, you have to create and own it all yourself.

Siri uses licensed data from, Google Maps, City Search, Taxi Magic,, OpenTable, eventful, Gayot, livekick, WeatherBug, BooRah, Rotten Tomatoes, Yahoo! Local, yelp, FlightStats, Vlingo and TrueKnowledge, and licenses the speech recognition engine of Nuance, and combines it into a self-contained application that is, as they say, a “person-centric app.”

It’s essentially the mobile generation of the “Single Point of Access” or Portal that had been all the rage in the 90s – it’s the “Personal Portal” – hyper-localized, and personalized, as it always should have been.

Of course in testing the application, there seem to be some data gaps, and some taxonomy work that needs to be done (hint: a wrap = burrito here in Boston, and vice-versa), but all told, it’s a sign of the mobile times to come.

Where to from here?

How are YOU approaching digital content strategies for a mobile world?

IsĀ  your business found in the content/data aggregators for your market?

Is your business “socially connected” to applications like FourSquare and Gowalla

In short, are you leaving money on the table for your competitors to run off with? It’s early days, but disruptive innovation wins go to those who start the trend first, unless you’re an extremely fast follower.

Weigh in with your thoughts and concerns – and while we don’t do app development, at Information Architected, “there’s a consulting service for that!” (Need digital content strategy for your enterprise? Get in touch.)

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“I have really enjoyed working with Dan on several recent projects. I find Dan is very insightful with a great perspective on technology and the industry. I also enjoyed the intellectual conversations that allowed both of us to challenge the boundaries of today's realities against the possibilities of tomorrow.”
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