James Mead by James Mead

Week 483

This week we mostly worked from our office at the Ministry of Startups or from home. Ben was off on Monday, but otherwise we were all around all week.

We had a go at adding a more specific Alexa intent to our voice-controlled version of the Infocom-style adventure game engine which Ben had adapted the previous week in the hope that it might improve the voice recognition. However, we quickly realised that this wasn’t the right approach. Although it was a bit disappointing to run into a bit of a dead-end, the effort wasn’t wasted because it helped us learn a lot about the capabilities of these voice devices.

We had a bit of a re-think and tried to come up with the type of game which would be more suited to being controlled by one of these voice devices. We came up with a game where you are on a boat lost at sea in fog and you have to navigate the boat safely back to port using only audio clues from the environment around you, e.g. the sound of a bell ringing on a buoy, a lighthouse fog-horn, ships engines, or waves breaking on the shore. It was encouraging to see that, as we hoped, the user experience was a lot better than the adventure game.

On Wednesday evening we hosted Show & Tell 43 at Forge & Co which was a lot of fun.

On Thursday afternoon we had the kick-off meeting for a project we’re doing in collaboration with BBC R&D which involves working with voice devices, so we’re looking forward to putting our new found knowledge into practice.

On Friday we all agreed to move from our 4-person office into the 6-person office next door.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Until next time.

– James.

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