My Red Lumia just got an Indigo Upgrade

indigo_logo_on_black-150x150Apple should take note…Siri-ously.

Tomorrow users of Windows Phone and Android will get a chance to try out a new app that I’ve been playing with for a few days.  The company, Artificial Solutions, has been innovating NLI (Natural Language Interaction) for other companies’ sites and gadgets, but now is releasing their own Indigo app.  My red Nokia Lumia 920 has been officially upgraded with the presence of this app.

From my testing over the weekend, I’m impressed.  Besides the generally accurate voice recognition and picking up cues from natural speech, which are no slouch, they have already implemented a few tricks that make the app stand out.  Here are two that I find fascinating:

Cross Platform

You don’t need to get locked into a single ecosystem or manufacturer to enjoy this technology.  Being able to use the same app on say your Android tablet and your Windows Phone is cool enough, but the  wow factor for me happens with…

Context and Continuation

This is where the innovative thinking kicks in.  I’m going to add their video because seeing is believing, but the cross-platform continuation means that if you bring up a search on that Android tablet and then grab your phone and go, you can continue the “conversation” seamlessly.  So yo

Carrying that innovative thinking forward, Indigo will keep context in mind, adding more realism to the conversation.  I did a test that looked like this:

Jeff – What time is it?
Indigo – Right now it’s 12:55 PM.
Jeff – What about in NY?
Indigo – In New York, United States of America it’s currently 3:55 PM on April 22, 2013
Jeff – …and Melbourne Australia?
Indigo – It’s currently 5:56 AM on April 23, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.
Jeff – Do you know the weather there tomorrow?
Indigo – (she said the high and low temperature for Melbourne and then said that I could expect glimpses of blue skies)

You can see how this can feel really natural.  Here’s the video that I promised.  It’s 9:50, but a good introduction:

The social stuff is there too. I said “can you Tweet that” and it composed a tweet of the Melbourne weather.  When it asked me if it was OK, I just said “never mind” and she said “fine, not a problem”.  You can predictably compose email, text messages, etc.

It’s all pretty great and I expect it to get better with the addition of more content partners.   Some things like sports scores and movie listing will currently send you to Bing/Google, but they are working on bringing in more partners to display that info inside of Indigo.

On Windows Phone you can’t long press the Windows button to start the interaction, so I recommend pinning the app to your start screen.  The good news is that it works with your native calendar for appointment, so when you ask it to schedule a meeting with someone it will go to your proper calendar.  Of course, you can have Indigo let people know about the meeting too.  There are other “fun” things like joke telling, playing a song or just a song from an artist, via the Spotify integration.  There is too much to tell you in this preview write up, but since it’s FREE, you can check it out for yourself in less than a day!

OK, just one more feature.  Indigo has a “reminders” feature, where you can say something like: “Remind me to take something for dinner out of the freezer”.  She asks me when I want to be reminded and I say “Tomorrow morning at 9” and then I’m given the option to save.  These reminders don’t go on your native Calendar, but into Indigo’s own Reminder section.  I like that it won’t clog up my calendar with ToDo items, but that I can still be reminded about them at a specific time.

I’ve had fun with this over the weekend and I think that unlike other virtual assistance, this one goes beyond the gimmicky and approaches voice as a reliable and productive user interface.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, April 23rd), if you have a Windows Phone or Android device, you can test it out for yourself.  Get to http://www.hello-indigo.com for more info.

 

***UPDATE***
Direct Links to Download
Windows Phone: http://ow.ly/kn2TU
Android: http://ow.ly/kn2V0

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About jeffdalydose

...a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and a whole lot of awesome!

Posted on April 22, 2013, in Reviews, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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