18
Dec
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Earlier today, we published a first look at what we believed to be a Yahoo!-made competitor to voice assistants like Google Now and Siri. The video, sent to us by an anonymous tipster along with screenshots showed what looked to be a very impressive app with an implementation similar to Facebook's Chat Heads, whereby a Y! icon would constantly float on the home screen waiting to be activated.

This evening, TechCrunch learned through a source "familiar with Yahoo's internal projects" that the app wasn't real, implying the video was nothing more than a really nice concept demo.

The most recent news is that the app is actually real, but it isn't made by Yahoo. Instead, it's an app made by Robin Labs, a natural language processing startup which has created a "white-label platform for custom voice assistants," to follow up on its own personal assistant app released last year.

So while the app wasn't being worked on directly by Yahoo, it was crafted during ongoing discussions between the two companies, and the video was apparently handed over to Yahoo! before being leaked.

Ilya Eckstein, Co-founder and CEO of Robin Labs confirmed this narrative to us, indicating that "the video captures our software during a test drive."

So, while the app may not be an official Yahoo! ware, it turns out that it is at least a real, functional product based on Robin's platform.

via TechCrunch

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

    So... Yahoo is planning to use it or... Not? After all the 'new news' I don't think we are left with a clear picture here =)

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      We weren't able to get any more specific information regarding Yahoo's plans with Robin or the app, but the two companies are talking. It's safe to say the app won't be launched by Yahoo in the immediate future, but I wouldn't be surprised if we hear more about it down the road.

      • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

        Oh thanks for the clearing up :)

        • Paul Taylor

          Definitely worth asking after what happened with summ.ly - I guess if they buy out Robin (probably Robin's goal here), then it might appear later on...

  • Ror

    Competition in always nice, especially since Siri and Google Now aren't exactly perfect.

    • Joseph Cascio

      Yeah but can we expect anything from Yahoo to be at least okay? Google and Apple are probably laughing right now.

      • Paul Taylor

        Now that we know it's not actually Yahoo's product, there's maybe a better chance of it being okay.

  • http://www.androidradar.net/ Android Radar

    That leaked app sounds promosing and I can see it will cause some healthy competition.

  • Craig M

    This headline will change in another hour.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/pratikthakkar Pratik Thakkar

    Not sure what Yahoo is trying to do and gain from this...

  • RahulNayak

    Good try Yahoo! We still wont use Yahoo Search :/

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