Apr 13, 2020

AP News: Smart speaker broadcasts made easy through Wecast.ai

Hello All! AP news covered story of WECAST.AI!

We offer service no one imagined. You post, WE CAST!

Smart speaker broadcasts made easy through Wecast.ai

SEOUL, South Korea, April 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- South Korean startup, NextNest, has launched Wecast.ai, a broadcasting platform for the widely used voice assistant technologies, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Wecast makes voice broadcast creation a simple task for anyone. Following an intuitive interface, users simply type their messages, just as they would on Twitter or Facebook, to be broadcast on smart speakers all over the world.

According to Voicebot.ai, smart speaker installations reached 76 million units in 2019. Yet without a “killer app”, usage has been mostly confined to playing music, smart home commands, and information queries. NextNest aims to improve and increase users’ interactions with smart speakers by making voice cast creation accessible even to the non-programmer through its Wecast platform.

“Both Alexa and Google assistant are incredible devices but have not yet reached their potential as devices to connect people,” said Sam Seo, CEO of NextNest. “There are many voice app tools that claim “no coding necessary”, but in the end require some familiarity with coding and server structure. Just as blogs, Twitter, and Facebook made it easy for people who aren’t web developers to get their thoughts and messages out on the internet, Wecast will make using smart speakers more accessible, interactive, and fun.”

Wecast.ai offers standardized Alexa Skills and Google Actions that broadcast content residing on users’ Wecast pages. Users are only required to name their Skill or Action and provide message content, although additional features and settings are available to customize interaction. Wecast takes the voice apps through the Amazon or Google standard application process, and upon approval, they are ready to be played on Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or both.

NextNest’s ultimate aim is to bring innovation to virtual assistant AI technology, and Wecast provides a springboard to do so through the wealth of content generated on its platform.

“To truly improve virtual assistant AI, it needs to be fed massive quantities of short audio or text content, as opposed to the long readable page content that currently drives AI improvement. We have developed a system that can gather this data while providing users a more fun experience” said CTO of NextNest, Seongmin Kim, Adj. professor in SW Engineering at Jungbu University, South Korea.

About NextNest Inc.

Founded by two smart speaker fanatics in 2017, NextNest inc. launched Wecast.ai in 2020. After beta testing in early 2020, Wecast currently has over 80 voice apps on air, with over 120,000 plays on smart speakers all over the world. The company is now preparing its Series A investment round.

Source: AP NEWS

You can click HERE to read the full article.

Apr 9, 2020

How to add platform in WECAST.AI

Today, let's find out how to add the platform of your WECAST voice app. 

Let's say you have used Wecast Alexa Skill and enjoying it. Thank you. And your friends who have Google home or Google nest devices ask if there any way they can try your Wecast as well. You don't have to make a separate Wecast voice app to broadcast on Google devices. You can only "add platform" from your existing Wecast Alexa Skill. If you have Google Action and no Alexa Skill, adding a platform will also work that time.

When you are on your board page, on the left corner, you will see the icon of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant depends on which platform you are using. If you are using only one of them, you will see the button "add platform". When you click the button, you will see the platform selection page.

It shows your existing platform and the other platform as well. We are planning to support more platforms such as Mycroft, Cortana, Siri, or many others when they start supporting some easy SDKs... Anyways. 

At this time we select Amazon Alexa because we already have Google Action for our Wecast.

Then you will be redirected to your information page. Since you have already filled in when you have made your existing voice app, the only thing you need to add is the category of your new Alexa Skill. Easy right?

Then you get to upload new image for your Alexa. See, Alexa askes two images, 108x108 for small icon 512x512 for the large one, and Google asks one image for both in 192x192. I really hope those two companies talk to each other and unify the size of the image and many more such as each calling their voice app different ways like Skill..Action...

Once you pay the new voice app creation fee, then you are good to go! Wecast team will make a new voice app for the new platform in days and now your Wecast can cast to both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant devices! Congratulations!

Wecast.ai makes your voice app life easier than ever. Enjoy!

Alexa Skill Recommendation: Goodnight

Sometimes, the good application has nothing to do with a long line of code or some breathtaking design. Some recent Chinese mobile games have stunning graphics but when played no one can play them more than 2 minutes I think.

This Skill, "Good night" must be many people's recommendations when someone purchases any Echo device. What we love about this Skill is that this app makes users a feeling that he or she is talking to their smart speakers.

This Skill is almost too simple. Whenever you say "Goodnight." this Skill says random goodnight message. However,  all of the messages played are very hopeful, cheerful and comforting that makes you think about your day and sleep with hopeful expectations of tomorrow.


Apr 3, 2020

Announce: Free Premium Plan for religious organization for Covid-19

Announce: Free Premium Plan for religious organization for Covid 19.

While everybody having a difficult time locked down at their home, we think we also have to help people with what we have. What we have is this small platform we made for people to share their stories on smart speakers. So we are to support people with what we have.

Wecast team believes that what people need in this situation is to maintain a calm and peaceful mindset.

My team and I have no such talent to give people comfort. We would like to support people who can.

From now, WECAST.AI teams will

A) create Alexa Skills and/or Google Assistant Action that can cast messages from priests to their members for free, 

B) we will provide the Skills/Action as our Premium plan membership indefinitely. 

We know huge churches may already have their own channels to communicate their members. However, many small churches are suffering in this crisis, run by a small group of people, or reverend who are not familiar with tech to reach his/her members. If you are a member of that church, let us help them.

We believe freedom of religeon, so any religious organization we will help as well.

Please contact us at staff@wecast.ai for more detail.

Hope everyone be safe until this epidemic ends.

Apr 2, 2020

Our "Corona virus updates" Google Action has been taken down

Just like all the other Android apps about coronavirus made from individuals, our own voice app "Coronavirus updates" has been taken down from Google Action Center.

It would be a lie to say we are not disappointed, we understand and support Google's decision. Amazon Alexa team has the same new policy not to accept coronavirus related Skills for now.

WECAST gets many customers trying to make Coronavirus related Skills or Actions and we are sending an apology email that we cannot proceed with the requests.

In this difficult time of pandemic situations, the official information channel should be the most trustworthy source. We pray for everybody to be safe with family and soon this period will pass by with great minds of this time.

Alexa Skill Recommendation: Kpop talk

Some of you might notice that we are not recommending Voice Apps by popularity. 

We think that if a Skill or Action is popular, we do not need to introduce you because you would already know. :)

Kpop talk is a very simple voice app and yes, it's made using our service, WECAST.AI by one of our Korean customers. After BTS, the famous South Korean boy band made a huge success in the entertainment industry, people came to wander not only for the band but also about the whole Kpop. Many overseas fans wanted to know up-to-date information about their band or other celebrities but they were always a bit late for the trend due to lack of English channels covering Kpop. Kpop Talk, gathers news and issues of famous Kpop artists in English, so that the fans, not just BTS fans, can casually listen to interesting contents with their smart speakers.


Apr 1, 2020

Alexa Skill Recommendation: My Pregnancy from BabyCenter

Making 'just right' Alexa Skill is very difficult.

If a user really wants to search for something or play something so badly, they always have the better device, smartphones that they can use their hands and eyes. Informational Skills should be about something you want to listen repeatedly, and/or something 'good to know' facts.

My Pregnancy from BabyCenter hit this spot very well. When a lady first gets pregnant, she gets frustrated no matter how much she expected. Now she will spend so much time googling about pregnancy, the baby status, read again and again.

My Pregnancy from BabyCenter, once you activate, the skill asks your due date. Day by day the due date comes closer, this skill tells users new facts of pregnancy, the status of her fetus, what she should do or not do.  While she listens to this informational skill over and over sometimes with her spouse, she will get to be informed, be relieved.

The later her pregnancy gets, the heavier she gets. Looking for her phone or sitting in front of the computer may give her hard times.

That's why this Skill, no matter how simple this voice app is so worthy for those who are being ready to become parents.

Link to this voice app:

Alexa Skill Recommendation: The Magic Door.

Alexa Skill Recommendation: Magic Door.
Since we were planning to consider thinking about writing the voice app recommendation, the first voice app to comment about was very decided:

The Magic Door.

This voice app always has been a just right example when someone asks "What can I do with Echo?" to show 'this is what smart speaker is'. When you start this Skill, you start a journey to a magic land. Alexa's voice leads you to forest, mountain, sometimes to monsters.

To think deeper, this Skill is merely statements and select questions. However, it beautifully used sound effects that well match the story such as the sound of owls, raining, winds. On some occasions, it uses recorded sounds for monster voices.

This game reminds nostalgia of mud game or text-based RPG games of late 70s and early 80s. Of course, you cannot fight with your voice (you can yell to the speaker but Alexa does not capture the degree of loudness of your voice), so all you do is wandering around answering multiple selections. However, The Magic Door made a perfect version of this 'listening' game.

Although now the 'Division Network' game made this even more complex and sophisticated enough to rank itself higher than the Magic Door, this game has marked as an eye-opener voice app to show people 'the A.I. speaker can be the next big thing'. 

If you have not tried this voice app, you SHOULD try this today.

Link to this voice app: