Happy Thursday, Austin! Here’s some tech news for you:
Conversable updates AI software
If you’ve been following our stories about chatbots, you’re probably already familiar with Conversable, a company based in Austin and Dallas that’s been doing work for companies including Marvel Comics, Pizza Hut and Whole Foods to bring conversational ordering and info to platforms such as Twitter and Facebook Messenger. Well, in breaking with our Tech Crawl tradition of linking to other news, we’ve got an exclusive of our own this morning: Conversable says it has partnered with Shake Shake on the rollout of “AQUA 2.0,” its onboarding software for companies that want to add conversational bots to its customer service. Conversable CEO and co-founder Ben Lamm told 512tech, "It’s about time we stopped treating bots like science experiments and started shipping high-ROI bots at the speed of business. That’s exactly why we built AQUA. If you want to be up and running in a matter of weeks, that’s when AQUA comes in. And now, with AQUA 2.0 bots can be built to match actual business needs." Shake Shake started working with Conversable in August, but has been the pilot program for this new version of AQUA.
New Oculus VR products announced
It’s unclear with the “Summer of VR,” which included a price drop to $399 of Facebook-owned Oculus VR’s headset and touch controllers, amounted to tons of new virtual-reality users (I’m one of them), but that’s not stopping Facebook from pushing ahead with new products including Oculus Go, a wireless, self-contained version of the company’s VR headset that’ll sell for $199. It won’t require a phone, PC or wires to operate and is due out early next year. Oculus also unveiled a new core interface for Oculus and new “Dash” software that would allow people to use their computer’s software in a “Minority Report” style. And never one to lose sight of new revenue streams, Facebook is rolling out a $900 version of Oculus for businesses
Alexa wants to know your whole family now
In a move that mimics something Google Home has already been doing, Amazon’s Alexa products can now recognize voices of different users as distinct once you set up individual profiles in the Amazon Alexa app. It can give personalized responses and access to different things such as shopping or streaming music based on that person’s level of access.
‘Mr. Robot’ is back
The hacking and paranoia saga is back for a third season on the USA Network. In case you missed the premiere last night, you can catch the first seven minutes below:
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