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Time, Weather, Music, Calling — and Trusting Your Gut

Voice first devices have four killer apps and the rest of the applications drop off in a long tail of 25,000+ Skills/Actions/Apps. Five years during the Ubi days we were figuring out what our killer app was (beyond being a handsfree voice interactive device). We had felt how compelling music playback was but being able to quickly ask for time and weather was the two pieces of information that people searched for the most. Calling was one of those magical features too.

In fifth place and beyond is control of home automation devices. It’s great, but it’s not amazingly great. You’ll show your friends and then you’ll use a quieter form of actuation if it’s available. However, music is magical. Asking for weather and time is faster. Calling is great when you can’t find your phone or your hands are messy.

Although we felt that these applications were great in our gut and when we used the Ubi for these type of interactions, there were many prospective investors who would poo poo these applications, leading us to a lot of self-doubt. “They must know more than us,” was the thought. With a bit more experience and hindsight, we can now trust our gut when we see an application that feels right. We would have locked in on these applications and saved much time and effort on building out other features to please a diverse group of project backers.

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