STATES CHRONICLE – Wand Labs has been acquired by Microsoft for an undisclosed amount, as part of the latter’s efforts in developing communication as a platform.
Wand Labs was founded in 2013. It is most well known for its Wand Messaging app which was presented to the world in May 2015 at the Code/Mobile conference. The Wand Labs team has always had a focus on developing a natural, adaptive, and responsive language for messaging apps and services.
Microsoft plans to use the expertise and technology of its new acquisition in order to enhance further several of the services it currently owns such as Cortana, Office 365, and Bing. David Ku, Microsoft’s Information Platform Group corporate vice-president, stated that it intends to create a stable technological platform for the future of communication.
As part of their acquisition contract, Wand Labs as an entity will cease to exist. All of its services and team members will migrate to the Microsoft team. The initial focus of the former Wand Labs team will apparently be Bing. However, it is currently speculated that other Microsoft services, such as Cortana and Office 365 are in line for enhancement as well.
Microsoft announced earlier this year that they were working on the development of features referred to as “communication as a platform.” The features intend to expand and enhance the way users will interact with technology, allowing for fluid two-way conversation between man and machines.
The end goal is an artificial intelligence which will be able to identify speech patterns and adapt its communication language to match that of its user. The intelligence will then be able to forward the user’s requests to the appropriate apps and services, utilize them accordingly, and then communicate the results back to the user.
Computers can be soon expected autonomously to learn human language, as well as conversational understanding. Users will be able to imprint their personal mannerisms of expression easily. If the technology proves to be successful, vocal communication could become the main means of interaction with future tech.
As new members of the Bing division, the Wand Labs team will most likely be tasked with the overhaul and revamp of the Bing Concierge Bot. With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft announced a new app collection for Cortana. Microsoft has also recently launched several Skype bots for the web and Mac use.
If Microsoft expects to see their future of communication as a platform come to fruition, then it seems that the former Wand Labs team has their work cut out for them.
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