Applications

The Importance of Voice for Evernote

Posted by Nils Bunger on 26 Mar 2018

Posted by Nils Bunger on 26 Mar 2018

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From the very beginning of Evernote’s journey, our founder Stepan Pachikov’s vision has been that Evernote should be an extension of your brain. Just as glasses help improve a person’s sight, he wanted it to help assist and expand the capacity of the human brain. Millions of people now use Evernote to help them remember everything, turn ideas into action, and work effortlessly together. As we think about what the future of Evernote looks like, Stepan’s original vision is a guiding principle for us, and we have an exciting opportunity to be a key player in the future of artificial intelligence.

One of Evernote’s key strengths has always been that we use groundbreaking technology to help customers organize their lives. Our OCR technology, which allows us to detect text and handwriting in images, has been the best in class for almost a decade. Customers use Evernote to scan documents, business cards, whiteboards, and receipts, and our seamless search capability allows them to easily find everything later.

Building the future

Science fiction has been selling the dream of using voices to talk to our devices for centuries. However, as we look at what’s now becoming possible, through cutting-edge deep learning and neural nets, it is clear that the time for voice is now. Since some of the greatest ideas and thoughts don’t happen when you are sitting with paper and pen, voice technology is a natural fit, both for inputting information as well as retrieving it. At Evernote, we’ve been experimenting with a variety of different voice experiences, including our recently announced integration with Siri that allows you to add notes in Evernote and search for them using only your voice. However, we believe this is just scratching the surface.

As part of this effort, we have brought on Angad Singh, who founded Cassette, an app that allows you to record and transcribe important conversations in real time, search through them and highlight important moments, to help lead our efforts to take our voice and input capabilities far beyond where they are now.

We are excited by the potential for bringing ideas from Cassette into Evernote. For example, imagine starting a recording in Evernote when you walk into a meeting and letting it run in the background. During the meeting, Evernote would transcribe everything in the background, distinguishing between different voices, and pulling out highlights and action items on its own. The team can take notes and highlight things collectively in real time, maintaining a single source of truth so everyone is on the same page. The note would automatically be categorized and shared with everyone in the team, and team members could search for anything that was discussed in any of their meetings, using only their voice to ask questions. We imagine a world like this, where technology does the tedious work of taking notes so that humans can focus on doing what they do best.

At Evernote, we have a solid team that combines voice expertise, user experience, and creative product developers, and will help us make this vision a reality. In the coming months, we’ll be releasing new technologies and experiences that will delight our users and help them organize everything—and we know that this is just the beginning.

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