News summary and highlights of the latest developments in the voice ecosystem for December 2019 and January 2020.

Amazon, Apple, Google and Zigbee join forces for an open smart home standard

Assortment of voice assistants

It's a pretty big deal when the biggest names in the connected home category announce that they are reaching across the aisle to create an open-source standard. Marquee names Amazon, Apple, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance are leading the charge here. The new networking group, called Connected Home over IP, also included a number of key partners on the board, including Ikea, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (nee Philips Lighting), Silicon Labs, Somfy, and Wulian.

Read more on Tech Crunch or Zigbee Alliance

Pandora launches interactive voice ads

Pandora Voice Ad

In an interesting move both in the voice-commerce and voice-marketing arena, Pandora has started testing voice ads, which allow listeners to respond to the ad by answering out loud. Listeners are prompted to say “yes” after the ad asks a question and a tone plays. Once a response is received, the ads then offer more information about the product or brand in question. Advertisers testing the new format include Doritos, Ashley HomeStores, Unilever, Wendy’s, Turner Broadcasting, Comcast, and Nestlé.  Read more on Tech Crunch

"Alexa, pay for gas" Amazon and ExxonMobile team up at the gas pump

Alexa, pay for gas

Amazon and ExxonMobile made it official at CES -- drivers will soon be able to use Alexa to pay for a tank of gas️ from the comfort of their vehicle at more than 11,500 Exxon and Mobil gas stations in the U.S. This is a huge move for voice commerce, as customers are able to make payments by a simple voice command, without a card.  Transactions will be completed via Amazon Pay. This can be done via an Alexa-enabled car or on Echo Auto.  Read more on CNN Business

Are you planning to launch a new Alexa Skill or Google Action? Talk to us now about test scheduling to make sure your voice app is ready to delight from the first invocation. Contact to request a demo or schedule a testing engagement.

Voice Assistants Timeline 2010-2019

The Decade of Voice Assistant Revolution
The last 10 years have been transformative in how people think about and interact with voice tech. The Voicebot team has created an illustrated timeline to encapsulate everything that has happened in the last ten years. To do so, they picked a notable event from each year to highlight milestone in the evolution and reach of voice assistants. For more read

Pulse Labs in the News

The Power Of Partnerships
Pulse Labs' partnerships with Amazon and Google are among those listed in this article discussing how  brands have relied on strategic partnerships to find their best path to success.  For more read Radio INK