Private groups have now been launched in Sound Branch which alleviate concerns around privacy settings (after all, most people don’t do public speaking!) and benefit all users. Due to popular demand, we are also creating functionality for one-to-one messaging, as a number of private groups were being created solely for this purpose.
In the New Year, branches will also be able to search the audio clips, not just through the title tags, but through the audio messages themselves. Sound Branch has teamed up with Google Voice API to translate speech sound bites into text, which will then be searchable for all users.
Thanks to Amazon Echo, one of the coolest new features you can use in Sound Branch is Alexa, which is similar to Siri on an iPhone. Alexa allows users to complete a series of voice-activated commands, and can do anything from play 1 of 40 million songs from Amazon music, to telling you what the traffic to work is going to be like. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Amazon Echo – it is a voice-activated tube which can be placed anywhere in your home. The Alexa app connects to the Amazon Echo via your smartphone, and can be customised to learn new ‘skills’, which are similar to apps on a smartphone. Skills such as Sky News, Spotify, and more can be added, and we are currently developing Sound Branch Skills for Amazon Alexa, which will allow you to control and access Branch via your Amazon Echo device. We have similar plans in the works for the Google Home competing device.
We’ll also be making further usability improvements to Sound Branch by including the ‘listened to’ feature, which will allow you to see what sound bites you have listened to, and the ones you haven’t got around to listening to yet. We are revamping the way in which seeds and branches work, so the usability is improved.
Finally, we are creating a business console so that organisations can provision professional Sound Branch applications to employees. This will allow businesses to take advantage of all the same brand functionality, but within their own domain and with all the necessary security and privacy levels managed. Therefore if a member of staff were to leave the organisation, the administrators could revoke access to Sound Branch.
All in all the next version of Sound Branch will be secure and easy-to-use. We have listened to our users on Sound Branch and are taking on their feedback!