Sorry, I can’t help with that YET
Christmas before last, my fiancé won an Amazon Echo in a white elephant gift exchange. We hadn’t payed much attention to the rise of Smart Home devices up until that point because we’re not yet homeowners & despite my best efforts, property managers aren’t willing to entertain the idea of me install a Nest. That all changed with the new Echo. Mostly Alexa served as a tease of what’s possible & her capabilities left more to be desired. A month later my fiancé & I were married & my best friend gifted us a Google Home Smart Speaker. Thanks Shawn!
Our Google Home listens for, hears, & responds to my questions from our family room while I’m taking a shower. Amazing! It’s multiple microphones power far field voice recognition & ambient noise reduction that result in an incredible audio first experience for consumers.
But what if you’re a creator? If this is an audio first experience, can we record audio with these powerful microphones?
Closing the Loop
Technology that stands the test of time empowers both consumption & creation. To close the loop on a true audio first experience, Smart Speakers need to evolve their skillset to include Smart Microphones. Today’s Alexa Skills & Google Assistant Actions are hyper focused on providing developers with a platform to parse your requests, “Yo Google, What’s today’s weather in Kyoto?” & fulfilling it with an answer, “Looks kind of cloudy, with a high of 86° & a low of 75°.” Super cool, but can we access the audio it recorded of your question? Sort of, but its kind of cloudy. We get access to the transcribed-to-text version of it, but not the audio.
Smart Speakers need to evolve their skillset to include Smart Microphones
In the first quart of 2018, Google & Amazon reported a combined 5.6 million Smart Speakers sold. That’s a crazy number. Imagine if all of those devices offered their owners the capability to connect, communicate, & record conversations with others in studio quality. Everyone would suddenly have a podcast studio in their living room.
The Podcast industry sees Smart Speakers as the next wave that’ll expand listening time out of the car, beyond the commute, & into listeners homes & hearts. That’s a huge growth opportunity & the big players are all moving in that direction. Listening at home is, after all, way up year over year according to Edison’s Infinite Dial report.
We see Podcast consumption largely as a solved problem, with some caveats that our friends at CastBox & MouthMedia are working to improve. Democratizing collaborative audio recoding is a far more interesting mission to take up & that’s where we’re singularly focused. We intend to leverage Smart Microphones to offer a new level of accessibility for anyone to record studio quality audio & publish it as a podcast, all with your voice.
Democratizing collaborative audio recoding is a far more interesting mission to take up & that’s where we’re singularly focused
If you’re a Podcast Host or interested in evolving your Smart Speaker into a Smart Microphone, please let us know your thoughts & help us create this future together. SquadCast is the closest we can get to the future we envision, & today it’s accessible a beautiful Web App. Check it out & hit us up for a demo!
If you work on Alexa or Google Assistant, Thank You for your awesome work! Please, deeply consider adding a robust permissions model that’ll serve to protect consumers & empower creators to get the most out of their devices. Give users the ability to grant access to the PCM data from these powerful microphones & we’ll do the rest. In the meantime we’re building out our platform to be ready for this awesome future.
Zachariah Moreno is the co-founder, CEO, & CTO of SquadCast. He is also a podcaster, author, developer, and designer. He and his team are on a mission to amplify collaboration.