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How to Create Virtual Assistant Apps Like Siri and Google Assistant?

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How to Create Virtual Assistant Apps Like Siri and Google Assistant?

The development of good and up to date applications requires the involvement as many innovative ideas as possible. These days the users become more and more sophisticated, so it is not strange at all, that people ask for more interesting and useful approaches, that may attract their attentions much better, than anything before. One of these revolutionary ideas was the creation of the smart voice innovations, which became extremely popular in the last several years.

Frankly speaking, the development of all these assistant apps like siri began directly from the birth of iOS and its steady evolvement. The main idea of all these voice helpers is not only the creation of a software, which will be able to recognize and understand the voice of a user, but also an interface, that will make it possible to analyze that voice, respond to a user and make various calculations according to so-called intents of a user, or the commands, which he or she directs to a smartphone. Due to the emergence of such a great variety of opportunities of an almost fantastic device, about which we were able only to dream several years ago, the popularity of an idea itself is developing faster, than even the technology itself.

So, in that article today, I would like to try to give a good exhaustive answer on a question on “How to include a voice assistant in an app?” and provide you with several the most popular and widely used strategies, which were adopted by the developers all over the world. To be honest, for today, we have three of them. The first one is an approach, which may allow us to implement a voice helper through the integration of the already existing voice technologies to your app through the usage of special APIs, basing on the examples of Siri and Google. The second one is the creation of an intelligent assistant, basing on the open-source softwares. For instance, good examples could be: Melissa, Jasper or Api.ai. And the last, but not least, and the most complicated approach is the creation of your own voice interface in an app, while using such tools as: STT, TTS, Intelligent Tagging and others. Thus, downstream, let me start the description with the very first and the most simple tool.

The main strategies of Siri and Google

While talking on the creation of the apps like Siri, it is impossible to forget about the pioneers of that industry, Siri itself and Google or Google Now, how the developers may call the special tools from Google, which are used for the maintenance of the voice linkage between the user and the device. In case of the discussion of the first approach and the description of those technologies, which could be used by the developers in order to make his or her own voice software, the easiest manner in which it could be done, may be a more or less detailed description of each of these two technologies, allowing the reader to choose those most suitable techniques, which are implemented to these programmes.

App Like Siri

Siri

Siri is one of the most popular and one of the most widely used approaches for the implementation of voice commands from a user to a device. In the very early years of its existence, Siri was not a really developed extension. For instance, it was able to recognize the voice of a random person and launch a simple search according to an invoice. However, after the emergence of more and more updates for iOS software and the creation of iOS 10 in 2016, it became obvious, that Siri reaches its highest point of development.

For instance, today, thanks to Siri we are able to operate with such functions as:

  • Search in the Internet;

  • Automatic responses;

  • Automatic calls;

  • Online payment;

  • Online ordering of food and renting of vehicles;

  • Audio and video calls;

  • Photo Search and many other various functions and operations;  

In case if you want to create your own voice app, the best idea for you will be the usage of a special software from Apple, called Siri SDK, which allows you to integrate the existing technologies of other softwares and extensions within those, which are going to be developed by you or your programming team. The main strategy on which that tool is based is the idea of special classes. That means, that these intents or voice messages sent by a person are understood by a software and classified according to the special properties, linked to the classes. Because of that balanced chain and the fast operation of a device itself it becomes possible to fulfill any needed operations. However, there could be a pretty important problem. Apple and all the products of this company usually automatically possess the strict rules of the usage of a software and the borders of the design, which has to be used by the developer, what could cut your desire of an unlimited fly of your mind and fantasy.

One of the most vital changes, which have happened to Siri ,might be the updates of iOS 11. That is pretty important to notice, that thanks to the innovations of the Apple team., the whole structure of that virtual assistant were extended with several interesting extensions and additions. First and foremost we might make an emphasis, that Siri now got a new voice, which is much more natural and gentle, while sounding like a real one. So, the dialogue with your virtual assistant might be more comfortable and convenient. Secondly, there is also another changes, which have a nice influence on the linguistic part of the software. From now, the user may get an opportunity to arrange translations of english phrases to other languages, such as chinese, french, german, italian and spanish.

Moreover, it might be suitable to enlighten an innovation within the system of suggestions, which are made by Siri. From now they are collected, basing on your activity in Google and Safari, Mail and Messengers as well as the news resources. Then, thanks to the implementation of several other changes, the owners of iOS 11 can operate with their bank accounts through Siri, launch transactions and account transfers, while using their voices as an only tool. Furthermore, the creation of to-do lists and notes is possible through siri as well. Finally, Siri now gives you an opportunity to with those applications, which display QR codes with no problems and complications.

Google

In case of Google the situation is almost the same, but a bit more easier. As you may know, Google Now is a sort of a thinking machine, which is able to communicate with its user on a highly technological level. So, the whole concept of a product and all of the related additions and developmental softwares is more complicated. But, unlike Apple, Google does not have any designing and programming requirements for the users of the software. However, there is also another issue, that Google Now is working only with the assistant applications, like eBay and other. But there is a pretty simple solution to that problem. Everything you have to do is to register your app with Google, what will make it possible to launch a strong and full cooperation of your app and voice helper.

Read alsoMobile Game Development in 2017: Best Tools and Advices

voice assistant app

Develop your own voice assistant app with open-source platforms

Nowadays, one of the most widespreaded approaches to the creation of any possible technological idea, regardless its aim and purpose is the usage of the open-source softwares and platforms. So, here, I would like to give you top three most popular and useful open source applications and extensions, which may help you to create your own voice machines.

1 Melissa

Melissa is one of the most popular and widely used open-source softwares, with which the developers usually operate. The main idea of the usage of such an approach is its high level of simplicity. While one of the main outstanding features is its similarity with a usual Lego toy, what makes the whole process of programming easier and faster.

In other word, the whole software consists of different bricks-lime parts, that makes it possible to alter their shape, move and transform them in any needed manner with the involvement of a pretty little amount of experience and professionalism. Moreover, the usage of Melissa will allow you to change any part of the code without the destruction of other parts of it. Melissa is developed on Python with the usage of JavaScript for the creation of web interface. Moreover, it also recognizes such OS as: Windows, OS X and Linux.

2 Jasper

That is another developmental tool, which could be used by those, who are willing to develop a voice application on their own. In that case we also have to make an emphasis on the fact, that the whole structure and the ways of work of Jasper are a bit more complicated than those, which exist within the system of Melissa.

Jasper is written in Python and as well as Melissa is able to fully recognize such platforms as OS X, Windows, Linux, Android, IOS and even C#. Moreover, the entire system of Jasper could be separated on two different parts, active one and passive one. That is done for the creation of a balanced system of the programming flows during the coding process.

3 Api.ai

The last but not least open-source frameworks, which occupies the place of one of the most popular ones among the users is, for sure, Api.ai. That is a sort of a library of various APIs, which could be used for the creation of your own voice recognizing application. For instance, it recognizes the APIs for such platforms as:

  • C#;

  • OS X;

  • Windows;

  • iOS;

  • Android;

  • Python;

  • Node.js and many others.

As usually in such situation the whole open-source framework could be got for free or after paying a certain amount of money. However, the only serious difference between paid and free versions is an opportunity for a user to operate upon a private cloud in case of the usage of a more complicated software. But for those, who are focused on a serious and highly professional app development, that feature may play a pretty important role.

Read alsoHow to Choose Open-source Software for Your Project?

How to Create Virtual Assistant

Independent development

It is pretty obvious, that the strategy of an independent development is the most complicated and long way to the achievement of your dream. So, in that passage it may be suitable to enlighten several elements, that will play the most crucial role in the whole development process. Moreover, it may be also suitable to notice, that the best virtual assistants, which are extremely popular today, began their way directly with that strategy.

STT or speech to text

That feature has a pretty complicate and not fully clear name. However, the main strategy, which is used by them for the operation is pretty simple. To be honest, STT is the concentration of the speech signal of a user, directed to the device into and understandable for a computer digital data. However, all the flows, which play the most important role in the process of formation of that process are really high-tech and even some developers do not fully understand how does it work. However, in order to achieve the main goal it is enough to use a pretty popular software , which is called CMU Phoenix. It is not only pretty easy for the newcomers but also fast and modern, which is including almost all of the up to date functions needed for a successful creation of STT process.

TTS process

To be honest, the only difference between STT and TTS is that the TTS process i'd absolutely opposite to STT. It means, that the device is reorganizing the digital data in such a way, that it will be possible for the user to understand the whole bunch of information. And, as you may guess, it is done through the re-arrangement of the data into the sound. Besides, for that process all the same tools ought to be used by the developer to achieve the goal of data transformation and transition.

Intelligent tagging and decision making

Without a doubt, that part of the whole building process is the most complicated and the most important one. Here you are creating all of those important elements, that will allow the whole system to think and make decisions. For instance, depending on the certain settings, the app will make a decision on what to respond to the user, basing on the data, which was transferred to a device through the STT system. Moreover, thanks to these features it also becomes possible for an app to make an automatic Internet search, calls and ordering.  

For the fulfillment of that goal you have to use Alchemyapi. Desire of the fact, that it is pretty complicated, but the functionality variety of that particular additional software may play the most essential role in the process of the creation of your project.

Noise control and voice biometrics

These two point may seem minor for some developers. However, their importance is also pretty high. For instance, noise controlling systems may allow you to separate the voice of the user and other outdoor sounds, like car noises, other people’s voices and even animal sounds. It is done, for sure, to make the whole process of the analyzation of the voice by an app easier and faster and to avoid the confusion of sounds.

Voice Biometrics is also pretty important. The main aim, why it is done is also pretty simple. The main thing here is the fact, that in case of the absence of such a function, your voice helper will be able to confuse other voices with yours and follow different operations, which it heard, for instance, from TV, movie or other people in the street.

Speech comparison

The last, but not least point is, of course, the organisation of the whole process of the transition of the digital data to a server and the realisation of it through different tools of the server itself. Despite of the fact, that the whole process may sound pretty simple, its background system is much more complicated. In order to avoid different problems, it will be the best choice to operate with G.711 standard, which may be one of the best approach for server organization.

Final Words

All in all, the whole process on the creation of the voice assistant is pretty long and complicated. For that purpose, as you may see, you are able to operate with three main approaches. However, my own advise on that issue would be another. I believe, that in order to make your own Siri or Google assistant the best approach will be the second one with the implementation of the open source resources as the foundation for your own application. However, that statement could be 100% valid only for the beginners in the field of app development. However, if you are a pretty experienced and professional programmer, the best decision for you may be to develop an app on your own. Moreover, thanks to that you will be able to implement all the needed setting and make it possible to calibrate an app in the most sophisticated way. I Really hope, that thanks to that article it was easy for you to find the majority of of the answers for those questions, which were bothering you.

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author Vlad Pshenychka Vlad Pshenychka
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