Weekly Digest: Voice-Based Digital Tipping From Volara and Biometric Authentication on WhatsApp

Dasha Fomina
2 min readJan 30, 2021

This week in Conversational AI.

Image Credit: Victor Seleykov/Just AI

Celebrity voice game wins Amazon’s Beyond voice challenge

Amazon and Devpost have announced the winners of the Alexa Skills Challenge for voice apps not limited to audio. A team from British voice app developer Vocala lead by Richard Matthews won the $20,000 grand prize for designing Voice Blast, a celebrity voice guessing game combining visual and audio components. Six other teams that had presented their skills under different categories also received bonus prizes. Via Voicebot.ai.

Volara and youtip bring voice-assistant-enabled tipping to hotel guests

Volara a voice-based guest management software provider, partnered with youtip, a contactless, cashless, and “appless” gratuity system for frontline hotel workers, to allow their guests to tip hotel staff by scanning a QR code on Google’s Hotel Solution or giving a voice command to Amazon’s Alexa. This new partnership enables operators to boost their employees’ paychecks, as well as enhances the hotel’s contactless safety initiative. Via Hospitality Net.

WhatsApp partners with ID R&D to add voice biometrics for Business capabilities

ID R&D in collaboration with partner Wittybots by SimpleTech enabled in-app voice biometric authentication to WhatsApp for Business. With the new solution, businesses can extend their WhatsApp customer service channels to ensure secure payments and other interactions with a short voice message. Via Biometric Update.

Google Assistant smart displays get wellness tab

Google Assistant added a new section on wellness to its features. The wellness page on smart displays and the mobile app features a section on how well the user slept, but it’s probably to be expanded with data on diet and exercise. The update might be part of a deeper integration planned for Fitbit after Google’s acquisition is finally complete. Via Voicebot.ai.