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Telefónica, Intel and Samsung invest in digital assistant technology

Telefónica, Intel and Samsung have invested undisclosed amounts in San Francisco start-up Expect Labs. The start-up is developing a platform to power a “new generation of intelligent digital assistants”, and has already benefitted from investments from Google and venture capital firm Greylock.

Expect Labs’ technology allows devices and applications to monitor to user behavior in order to better anticipate information that the user needs. According to the firm, its platform can model the context of user interactions in real-time, and proactively find information before the user needs to search for it.

Tracy Isacke, head of Telefónica Digital Ventures, said the operator group sees potential for Expect Labs’ technology across all areas of its business. She added that the firm’s investment opens the door to collaboration between Telefónica and Expect Labs’ technical teams.

Samsung’s Venture Investment Corporation (SVIC) added that it expects  to empower Expect Labs to enable new types of intelligent, voice-driven and context aware behavior across smartphones, tablets and smart TVs.

“Expect Labs has taken a unique approach to modeling context using sensor signals, such as GPS and audio, that are available in the new generation of computing devices, “ said Brannon Lacey, principal at SVIC  “We think this approach is an important step toward creating a new layer of application and device intelligence.”

And Intel’s global investment organisation, Intel Capital, added that it has been investing in making devices more intelligent and context-aware. It is now looking to help create new types of user interfaces driven by voice, touch, and gesture.

“In just a few years, we will live in a world where the connected devices all around us will know who we are, understand what we say, and be far more capable of interpreting our intentions and anticipating our needs, “ added Timothy Tuttle, Expect Labs CEO and founder.

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