Technology

This is Happening at Schibsted

With both Google Assistant and Alexa improving and becoming available in more languages, the interest for voice as a user interface is starting to grow.

Voice – VG

With both Google Assistant and Alexa improving and becoming available in more languages, the interest for voice as a user interface is starting to grow. Schibsted’s newspaper VG created one of the first actions (skill/app) for Google Assistant in Norway and has been experimenting with text-to-speech in order to give Norwegian listeners live news updates and sports results. Because voice is uncharted territory, two of the key focus areas has been user research and getting MVPs in front of users. People are excited about AR – but also get very impatient if the technology fails. Whether it’s to reach out at different hours or to people who are old or young or otherwise unable to use phones or computers, voice represents a very interesting opportunity.

AR – Finn Shopping

While open source software development kits by Apple and Google, ARcore and ARkit, revolutionized the AR industry last year, the final push for mainstream adoption is anticipated to come from AR on the web. With the iOS 12 software update from Apple this fall, a feature called AR QuickLook was launched to all iPhone and iPad devices. This makes it possible to view 3D objects in AR in Safari, with the tap of an icon and with no extra app installation needed. Finn Shopping is the first Schibsted company to try the new feature. Working with the Platform and Technology Trends team, they have partnered with an external firm for 3D model content creation and are now launching AR QuickLook in chosen categories on the Finn website. AR QuickLook will help users make better buying decisions, allowing them to view new furniture items in the context of their own home, comparing sizes, colors and textures in a realistic way.

Voice – Aftonbladet

Aftonbladet Daily is Sweden’s first daily news podcast. It’s available for smart speakers using Google home and Amazon Alexa. The launch is part of a larger push into voice and audio by the new department Aftonbladet Labs. The podcast is produced in collaboration with podcast platform Acast. Aftonbladet recently released a service for Google Assistant where users can get the latest news read to them and also access the title’s full catalog of podcasts. In Sweden news aggregator Omni is also launching a news pod, in Norway Finn Travel has built a functioning flight search during a two-day hackathon and in France Leboncoin has been experimenting with text-to-speech in its jobs vertical.