How Viv Will Change The Way Users Experience Smartphones

This week in New York at TechCrunch Disrupt, Dag Kittlaus, creator of Siri, displayed publicly his new invention, Viv.   Kittlaus began his presentation asking Viv standard questions regarding the weather. After establishing that Viv can answer basic questions, Kittlaus asked more advanced questions like, “Will it be warmer than 70-degrees near the Golden gate bridge after 5pm the day after tomorrow?”. Viv was able to answer each question that was asked, in spite of the challenging questions.  

What’s wrong with Siri?

Siri is great if you’re driving on the road, if your hands are preoccupied, or you’re simply too lazy to type. However, beyond basic tasks, you will probably have to go the manual route and use your hands. After showing Viv’s prowess in answering questions, Kittlaus displayed one of Viv’s most marketable features, third-party usability. After enjoying drinks with his friend Adam, Kittlaus was able to send over $20 dollars via Venmo, without opening any apps. Kittlaus hopes that Viv will become user’s “primary source”. Another advantage to Viv over other voice-control assistant, is its “dynamic program generation” as Kittlaus puts it. Instead of writing new code for each query, Viv is able to understand the user’s intent, this allows developers to build the experience they are looking for.  

Why this matters

Many smartphones users install an array of applications that hardly get used, due to either forgetfulness or laziness. With third-party integration Viv will be available to all sorts of applications, making ordering an Uber ride or a Domino’s pizza that much easier. It should be of no surprise that Facebook and Google already expressed interest in buying the technology.   My question is, if Siri isn’t being used as much as the creators would have liked, how can they be sure Viv will be different? Will they really be able to change the way users experience human-computer communication?  
Megan Wilson is user experience specialist & editor of UX Motel. She is also the Quality Assurance and UX Specialist at WalkMe Megan.w(at)