Earlier, the Internet went aflutter after a video leaked out that showed what seems to be Yahoo‘s entry into the voice-controlled personal assistant arena. Although many noted that the video seemed fake, the software is, in fact, real but its connection with Yahoo might not be as strong.
The software shown in that video was developed by Robin Labs, a startup that specializes in speech recognition and navigation technology. However, not only is that software not a finished product, it is also not a fully branded product at all. What this means is that the company is basically developing white-label platform that others, like Apple, Google, or, yes, Yahoo, can buy and tweak and slap with their own brand.
It turns out that Yahoo is indeed one of those brands interested in the software, but Robin Lab’s CEO Ilya Eckstein insists that it was not commissioned by Yahoo. It was, however, done as a sort of demonstration for Yahoo but Eckstein refused to comment further aside from sharing that both companies are currently having an ongoing conversation.
What this conversations will lead to is still open to conjecture. There is always a possibility that Robin Labs could be acquired by Yahoo, who has already acquired the natural language processing company SkyPhrase. Should that be the case, the it will also be likely that Robin Labs’ personal assistant software will no longer be a white-label product that can be used for the benefit of other companies. Whether it benefits Yahoo in the long run is anyone’s guess.