Vox Populi

From the minute I got my first iProduct I completely embraced my relationship with Siri. No artifice or obfuscation, and no hidden agenda behind the question. I’d ask and she’d answer with a variety of helpful tips and information. She has a sense of humor and I’d spend a few minutes here or there on the latest “Ask Siri.” With each inquiry and data point she came to know me more and more until now it seems she anticipates me.  (she does.)


A couple times a year I‘m privileged to house sit for friends with several big dogs, a heated pool and a completely automated house. I adore dogs, I love to swim and now I’m a convert to talking to appliances.  The minute I code myself into the house, it’s “Alexa, turn on the lights.” “Alexa, turn down the air conditioning.” and, of course, “Alexa, play me some funk music.”

There are a proliferation of voice interface tools, from Amazon’s Echo, Apple Home, Google Home, the Pod, the Max, and they grow increasingly sophisticated and more intrinsically integrated into our lives each day. As the technology continues to evolve and the apps and functionality become the norm in our lives, the standouts in the field will be those who not only engineer the product, but those who craft the voice and message these interfaces deliver.

At the very core of a voice interface are excellent communications skills.  The ability to actively listen, without judgement or anticipating a response. The qualities of friendliness and rapport, where empathy and understanding are projected as well as confidence in the response.  To be clear, specific and concise, meaning no words or phrases open to ambiguity and interpretation. To restate and confirm, making sure, when all is said and done, we’re on the same page.

Because an integral component of good communications skills are the non-verbals signals we send and these clues aren’t currently available in most  VI models (but certainly on their way) specificity and clarity are all the more important. Even then, intricacies of tone and subtleties of language still may be subject to misinterpretation. So, as with any productive and positive conversation, design to avoid defensiveness and judgement and allow for constant course corrections, i.e. reprompts, to get back on track.

But, bottom line, the brand who’ll distinguish themselves in voice (or virtual) interface will be, as is in life, the one who engages and delights us with their style, personality and approach. The one that speaks directly to “me.” Not only in responding to my questions, helping me discover the world, getting me up in the morning, playing that funky music, planning my meals and however I choose to automate and manage my life. By being the friend and companion I’m ultimately comfortable with, trust, and can't imagine living my life without. And that's a Bold! statement. 


BOLD! Women's History Month

Women have made limitless achievements throughout time, continue to accomplish new feats daily, and will accomplish true greatness in perpetuity. But of our country’s 240+ year history, it’s only been since the late 1980s there’s a Congressional declaration recognizing ‘extraordinary achievements of American Women.’

With each year, success and worthy accolades, all month of March we celebrate women across the country and in many parts of the world.  Today we see female strength and achievement at every level, in every movement and mobilization, and our position and confidence grows stronger each day. While celebrating Women's History Month, we pay special tribute to women whose strides in the STEM arena, especially those in technology, have motivated and inspired our own stories.  

Happy Women’s History Month!

A wonderful tribute can be found here from the Department of Energy who provide a downloadable coloring book recognizing significant  achievers in the fields of mathematics, physics, medicine, science and other STEM trailblazers. There’s renewed interest in the late Hedy Lamarr, a scandalously glorious actress of the 1930s who also happened to develop and patent a critical radio wave innovation that underscores today’s mobile and wireless technology. America’s very first woman Civil Engineer, Nora Stanton Blatch Barney was the third generation of Stanton women who, among her many other academic and professional achievements, famously fought for women’s rights to aspire and succeed.

Cultural references in films like “Contact” with Jodie Foster (groundbreaking actor and director her own self) as a SETI scientist who achieves the first radio contact with space and current movies like “Hidden Figures” shine a light on significant women in science who overcame adversities in the mid twentieth century. Thanks to books and movies, these women are getting the recognition so duly earned. Fast forward to 2009 and real life when the first ever live tweet from space was sent by Florida’s and NASA’s own Nicole Stott, the ‘artistic astronaut’ https://www.npsdiscovery.com/ who, despite retiring in 2015, continues to mentor, lecture, teach and tour and inspire the next generation of young women in the sciences.

Congratulations and kudos to these amazing women!

Speaking of NASA brings us back to earth, and to Florida, specifically Central Florida, where we founded our own women-led technology company, Bold! Technologies. As mother to a young woman, I want positive role models and examples of excellence to inspire and motivate her. In my own life, I began my career in publishing and became increasingly excited by the new and emerging world of digital and social media to promote and manage my personal brand and business. As a committed and involved member of my social community, we stay active in church, school, the arts and other civic activities.  And as a mentor of young women in tech, as someone who recognizes the responsibility of encouraging and inspiring the next generation of women, a great deal of my time is spent speaking at events, participating in forums and panels and providing one-on-one mentoring of brave women who’ll lead us into the future.

And Happy 28th anniversary as well to the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988, without which, we might not have a women-held business. When HR 5050 became law, women business owners finally had the legal right to borrow money with which to fund their own businesses.  It was Terry Neese, 1990 president of NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) who was instrumental in campaigning and promoting the bill. Per NAWBO, in America today there are over 9 million women entrepreneurs, a number that would be far different if not for the works of those bold women before us. We’re proud to be one of those business owners, a NAWBO member and grateful to all those who helped make it possible. Let’s keep working together and support each other in every way we can.

And Happy Women’s History Month to one & all.

BOLD! The Kanban Approach

At BOLD! Technologies, we adhere to the Kanban model in all our development efforts. Besides providing a visual perspective on the development process, Kanban is a tool  that helps us determine where we are in the process, the development path we envision taking to get there, the timing and resources we’ll need along the way and enables us to evaluate and adjust progress along the way.  

How to Lead Your Startup Team to Success with Lydia Chicles

In order to thrive as an entrepreneur, you need to be BOLD! Come learn how from Lydia Chicles. She is results-driven with over 10 years experience in developing, recognizing and bettering products, Lydia Chicles developed much of her expertise working in creative & management roles in the magazine and design industry. Involved with Magazines Canada, an influential industry advocate, she navigated the changing world of the print industry which was especially significant in helping shape her understanding and early adoption of digital media.

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Connections are BOLD! at the Samsung Developer Conference 2014

Three days of workshops, keynotes, and 90+ technical and marketing sessions and panels led by an international roster of industry experts and engineers.

  • Optimizing mobile applications
  • Securing enterprise applications
  • The future of wearables
  • Connecting to the smart home
  • Building for state-of-the-art TV
  • Tips for improving user experience
  • Gaming and entertainment
  • Leveraging location-based services
  • Innovations in health and wellness
  • Marketing and business opportunities
  • Updates on the latest development tools

Mobile Commerce Facts and Figures

By now it is also well known that mobile commerce capabilities are crucial to any business that sells online. In the U.S.  alone, mobile commerce market is poised to hit $114 billion in 2014, and projected to influence more than $600 billion in total retail sales by 2016, according to Forrester Research.