Product and Feature Announcements for the Voice First Community

Levi Sawyers

Levi Sawyers

Product and Feature Announcements for the #VoiceFirst Community

voice first products

With Apple’s event right around the corner - and the hopeful wishes of SiriOS looking bleak until 2020 - we wanted to take a look at other product events that could influence and shape the voicefirst industry. Taking a close look at historical announcements and holiday seasons, these are the industry events we believe should be on your voice product/feature radar:

Upcoming Events:

Apple Special Event
10am PST | September 10, 2019
Last year for the same event, Apple barely made mention of Siri highlighting a few new features such as Siri Shortcuts and the ability to simultaneously listen to music on two HomePods. Will this year be any different?
More info on the event here.

Amazon Fall Event
TBD | September 2019
Amazon has been successfully pushing Alexa-enabled devices every holiday season and this year shouldn’t be any different. September of last year was the chosen month for Amazon to announce various new Alexa-enabled devices (like the elusive Echo Auto) to consumers. No word yet if Dave Limp will take the stage again this year with more hardware announcements.
No additional info is available at this time.

Google Fall Event
TBD | October 2019
Google hosted an event on October 9th last year releasing the Google Home Hub which has since been rebranded as the Google Nest Hub. While a date hasn’t been released yet, it’s expected given a product announcement will happen with the impending updates of the Pixel line-up.
No additional info is available at this time.

Facebook Product Announcement
TBD | October 2018
Facebook took advantage of October to introduce its first consumer devices, Portal from Facebook. The company has already confirmed that new devices will be introduced this fall, so it only makes sense they’ll use October again. Be on the lookout for their own voice assistant and if Alexa will continue to be supported on their new devices.
No additional info is available at this time.

Samsung Developer Conference
San Jose, CA | October 29-30, 2019
Samsung took advantage of this time last year to announce the Bixby Developer studio and the move of Bixby from a feature to a platform for third-party developers. With a full year of announcements for Bixby under their belt, such as the Bixby Marketplace, it’ll be interesting how else Samsung will cater to the Bixby ecosystem.
More info on the event here.

Microsoft Ignite
Orlando, FL | November 4-8, 2019
Where is Cortana these days? It’ll be a surprise to see how Microsoft will talk about their voice assistant after a long year without much noise. Last year, Microsoft used the conference to introduce the Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise development platform.
More info on the event here.

AWS re:Invent
Las Vegas | December 2-6, 2019
Outside of Alexa workshops, nothing notable or significant was announced last year for Amazon Alexa at AWS re:Invent. The prior year was used to engage developers with soon-to-be-available feature sets. The event this year could be a launchpad for any new ideas Amazon has developed over the past year for voice developers.
More info on the event here.

CES 2020
Las Vegas, NV | January 7-10, 2020
There was no shortage of voice-enabled devices and Google Assistant advertising at CES 2019 - why would 2020 be any different? Smart home devices took over the floor as dozens of new voice-enabled products were on display. Expect to see the smart home segment continued to get pushed at CES 2020.
More info on the event here.

Apple Spring Event
TBD | March 2020
The Spring event this past year introduced an upgrade for Apple’s Airpods - the addition of hands-free Siri. While this event was largely used to introduce other Apple products and software, the possibility always remains to introduce any Siri related features.
No additional info is available at this time.

Facebook F8 Developer Conference
TBD | April 2020
While there is no guarantee of any voice-first news, Facebook used this conference to talk about a couple of new features for their first device line-up, Portal from Facebook. The company also confirmed reports of internal teams working on an AI voice assistant - F8 could be the opportunity to introduce a new platform for third-party developers.
More info on the event here.

Google I/O Event
TBD | May 2020
Google used the stage to highlight various fronts of Google Assistant in 2019 - the new branding of Nest products, the Nest Hub Max, and the ‘real-time’ assistant in action on Google Pixel phones. Expect Google to return with further advancements for the ever-evolving voice assistant.
No additional info is available at this time.

Apple WWDC
TBD | June 2020
The dates for the Worldwide Developer’s Conference is typically announced in March for the upcoming summer from Apple. This past year, Apple highlighted key feature upgrades for Siri such as Neural TTS and the ability to differentiate and recognize different users. The year prior, Apple used it to highlight Siri Shortcuts and in 2017, to introduce the HomePod. The year 2020 could be a big leap for Siri as many in the voice-first community have speculated the eventual launch of SiriOS.
No additional info is available at this time.

Looking for voice-first conferences? These events potentially include announcements for products and features that can impact the voice-first community. Take a look at our updated list for upcoming events.

Feel like we’re missing an event? Feel free to share the info with us so we can add it to the list!