Kevin's development, Kevin and Alexa, and other news
Jakob has spent quite some time in China on-site with our manufacturing partner. He’s working on things like finding the right surface finish that is gorgeous or discussing our packaging options, because didn’t we all love the process of unwrapping Christmas presents as children? And the best of all: we can also demonstrate all the work with the new prototype. Kevin will be blue, please don’t mind the raw black color of these beauties. But these are not just to show off but also to put through stress tests where we load and break them (or not break them), through heavy testing in the lab, as well as the real world.
Those are probably the things you notice on Kevin’s outside, but a lot has changed on the inside as well. We haven’t left any stone unturned to make Kevin tougher, easier to handle and even better “vocally,” not only for the simulation but, after a complete acoustic redesign, also for music. However, this means we’re seeing some new challenges. Who would have thought that our new setup is so strong that it literally shakes the fabric off of our Kevin? Superglue anyone? 😉
On the content side of things, we’re working to build up a content library that includes every possible household configuration and activity in your daily life. We currently have a team of over 30 English- and German-speaking Content Creators producing for us, and we’re recruiting more every day. We have over 15 hours of content submitted, with more scheduled to come in every day. We’ve got activities converted and waiting for Jakob’s delivery of our new prototypes so we can begin our long testing and quality assurance process.
We’re working on simulating across multiple devices and the hardware user interface. When you have multiple devices at home, they will be able to coordinate their activities. Each activity is either active (which includes human speakers) or passive (things like noises and background music, with few human interactions). In a home with multiple Kevins, the number of active activities that can be played at the same time will be limited to the size of your household. This makes the activities in different rooms mix well to create a realistic simulation. By developing the hardware user interface, we want to give users a pain-free setup experience where users can easily set-up their device. We are collecting valuable feedback during our tests to achieve an easy set-up for everyone.
User Experience & Interaction Design
Aleksandra is, at the moment, involved in implementing voice tutorials (voice and light gestures) into the device (during the setup process in offline mode). She’s still testing the setup process with users. Also, she’s drawing wireframes for the online flow and preparing to hit the mitipi app design.
Kevin & Alexa, true love? 😍
Many people asked us, can’t Alexa do the same? The answer is NO. But since people are asking, here is our version of Kevin for Alexa (which we find silly, by the way 😊). You don’t really want to stand next to Alexa and tell her what to simulate, do you? Alexa currently has too many limitations in order to create a good presence simulation. But watch here what Kevin and Alexa can do together at the moment: