A Danish artificial intelligence startup Whispr has created a new voice guidance platform for helping frontline workers to perform manual tasks effectively and to go hands-free. The startup was founded in August 2018 and is on a mission to ‘’transform frontline services’’.
To further its cause, the startup has announced a small preseed round of $750,000 from Seedcamp. Seedcamp is the Y Combinator of Europe and other participants in the funding round include Futuristic VC, PreSeed Ventures of Denmark and Bose Ventures.
What Whispr does is that it is an application which whispers expert advice and instruction into the ears of workers while they do their jobs, such as fixing a car, tidying up a room or carrying out an aircraft inspection. The app ensures that tasks are performed correctly as the users are able to ask verbal questions to the app. Whispr uses natural language processing or NLP for enabling this functionality.
CEO and Cofounder of Whispr, Hugh O’Flanagan said that the platform for checklists and processes will soon come alive. The version 1.0 of the app is being launched for some early access users, and a larger launch is being planned for later this summer. He added that the Whispr platform understands instructions, patterns and words of the user and they have the data needed for making the platform better.
The first key component of the Whispr platform is a Guide Builder which is desktop app for operational heads and senior managers which transports their manuals, checklists and standard operating procedures from PDFs to the Whispr system. Whispr translates these guidelines into voice guidance for frontline workers through the iOS and Android app of Whispr.
The idea behind the app is that workers will wear headphones to take instructions while they perform their daily tasks. They can also ask questions like which room to clean first? Or where can protective gloves be found?
Whispr uses Google’s WaveNet synthetic voices for text-to-speech service. All the automatic voice recognition is carried out on device without the need of internet. The third key component of the Whispr platform is data. Whispr figures out where workers are getting struck and if a particular task is taking too much time. The data gathered is used for improving processes and guidance.
Whispr is planning to eventually launch an app programming interface so that companies can integrate the platform better with their software. This is a good opportunity for big corporations who may be interested in integrating voice guidance to their existing apps.