Business Today

Giving Voice To Apps

The Bengaluru-based B2B company offers a multilingual voice interface so that developers can sync it with any mobile app.
Devika Singh   New Delhi     Print Edition: May 5, 2019
Giving Voice To Apps
Co-founders (from left): Satish Chandra Gupta, Kumar Rangarajan and Giridhar Murthy (Photograph by Lantern Camera)

1) The Founders

Kumar Rangarajan, Giridhar Murthy and Satish Chandra Gupta.

2) The Concept

When Rangarajan was working in Silicon Valley, he observed how effortlessly his children interacted with Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa. They got so used to it that when the car music volume went up during a drive, their instant reaction was: Hey car, turn down the volume. Murthy, who had earlier teamed up with him to launch Little Eye Labs (the start-up was sold to Facebook), had a similar experience when his parents visited him in the US.

The ease of using voice interfaces got them thinking about helping people who do not speak English and are not tech-savvy. The duo finally moved back to India and teamed up with Satish Chandra Gupta, an IIT-Kanpur alumnus, to build Slang Labs, a SaaS-based multilingual platform that would help developers add a voice-augmented experience (VAX) on top of any touch-based mobile application. This is especially useful in India as new Internet and mobile users beyond Tier-1 cities often require voice-UI for convenience and speed. The company was mentored by Google's Launchpad Accelerator Program in 2018.

3) How It Works

Developers can integrate Slang Labs' configurations and software development kits, or SDKs, to add voice capabilities to their apps. As of now, there are three language options - Indian English, U.S. English and Hindi. The team is also working on Bengali and a South Indian language. The solution is currently being beta-tested for government sectors, banking apps, news and OTT content, grocery, foodtech and gaming. Developers have to pay a monthly fee based on the number of voice interactions facilitated by the platform.

4) The Way Ahead

The company is making the platform more user-friendly and building intelligent capabilities for better flexibility when people use voice commands. It is also developing an iOS solution as the platform now caters to Android app developers.

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