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2.17 / It's our weekly news roundup


Ten must-read tidbits for Voice Tech professionals

Meaty tech stories have been rolling thick and fast this week, and here are ten essential reads from our own site and other great news resources. Keep up-to-date with Voice Tech news and we'll see you all next week.

WhatsApp, end-to end encryption, backdoors, and a few home truths

Clique: A high-profile "exposé" by The Guardian looked at end-to-end encryption on the popular WhatsApp platform and whether backdoors are in place. We look at both sides of the debate and argue that there is more to do in order to keep today's enterprises safe and secure. Read More

BlackBerry. The fightback continues with the release of the BBM Enterprise SDK

Clique: In making the BBM SDK available to developers, BlackBerry is also opening up secure lines of communication for sensitive, confidential applications. This also sends the signal that the troubled firm is no longer in "turnaround" and is set to post a healthy set of numbers. Read More

Facebook's AI now enables users to search for images by content

Clique: This is worth a "Like" - we may well be approaching the death of tags. There's more, though. Facebook is rolling out search technology that could fundamentally change the way we search for image and video content across the web. Read More

VR & Red Bull. Is this the headiest cocktail of them all?

Clique: Red Bull has long since tried to incorporate into the firm's marketing an extreme sports angle. Now, they have taken a leap forward with GoPro to produce some truly stunning Virtual Reality content. Read More

Confirmed; Google Voice app set to feature VoIP capabilities

Clique: Change is in the air following years of stagnation and a strategy that lacked clear focus. Google rolling out an update to the Google Voice apps for iOS, Android, and the web. The word on the street is that VoIP integration is just around the corner. Read More

MIT develops a speech recognition chip that uses a fraction of the power of existing technologies

Techcrunch: MIT developed a speech recognition chip that can save from 90 to 99% more energy than existing technologies. The chip could allow future IoT devices to go for months without needing to be charged. It features a "voice activity detection" circuit that can distinguish background noise and speech, activating the speech recognition function when detecting the latter. Read More

A-B adds voice recognition to verify ages on Budweiser and Bud Light Websites

St. Louis Post Despatch: Anheuser-Busch is adding voice recognition technology to some brands' websites. A-B added voice recognition to and, allowing visitors of the website to say their birthday instead of typing it in. This is said to be the first consumer company that adds voice recognition for age verification. Read More

IBM announces a voice assistant for cyber-security

Wired: IBM built a new AI voice assistant called Hayvn that is entirely centered on cyber-security. Hayvn's purpose is to help to monitor cyber-security and navigate through the many alerts and notifications received every day. Users can ask Hayvn questions about cyber-security and receive almost instant answers. Read More

Huawei is developing its own Voice Assistant for Smartphones

Bloomberg: Huawei is now also developing a native-digital assistant for its smartphones, with a team of more than a hundred engineers currently working on the project. Huawei's assistant would communicate in Chinese and hence appears to be aimed at users in China, while the company would continue to work with Google and Amazon for English-speaking assistants. Read More

Voice-checking device stops hackers hijacking your Siri or Alexa

New Scientist: A wearable device prototype could allow voice-controlled assistants such as Siri and Alexa to recognize their 'owner' and only take orders from him/her. The device is called VAuth and was developed at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. It works through an accelerometer hidden in a pair of eyeglasses or earphones, which can also be worn around the neck. Read More

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