'Psychic Siri' tech gets cash injection from Samsung, Intel, Telefonica

Summary:A startup that makes tech that can predict information you need before you know you need it has announced a new funding round.

Voice assistant startup Expect Labs has landed a chunk of investment from the VC arms of Intel, Samsung, and Telefonica.

Expect Labs, founded in 2011, makes a platform called the Anticipatory Computing Engine, which it describes as "the first commercial solution designed to analyse and understand conversations in real-time and proactively find related information." 

Or, to put it another way, the Anticipatory Computing Engine analyses conversations while they're happening in order to have pertinent information at the ready before a user knows they need it — while you're talking about going out for Chinese for dinner with your other half, say, your smartphone's will have picked up on the subject of the conversation and have suggestions for nearby Chinese restaurants at the ready before you can even fire up the browser and hit Google.

Its first product is an iPad app called MindMeld. When users have a conversation over MindMeld, the app creates a summary list of what's being discussed and brings up related documents, pictures and articles from Facebook and other websites.

Using the investment from Intel Capital, Samsung Venture Investment Corporation (SVIC), and Telefonica Digital Ventures, Expect Labs is planning to take its technology into new countries and verticals.

"As part of this new strategic investment, Expect Labs will begin working to enable new types of context-aware, predictive intelligence in a wide variety of applications and devices," Expect Labs said on Tuesday.

For Samsung, those devices are smart TVs as well as smartphones and tablets, which the company expects to get better context-aware and voice-controlled functionality.

"Expect Labs has taken a unique approach to modelling context using sensor signals, such as GPS and audio, that are available in the new generation of computing devices," Brannon Lacey, principal at SVIC, said in a statement.  "We think this approach is an important step toward creating a new layer of application and device intelligence."

Expect Labs has already notched up some big names among its list of investors, including Google, Greylock, Bessemer, IDG Ventures, KPG Ventures, Quest Venture Partners, whose funding has totalled around $2.4m.

The amount of Tuesday's investment was not disclosed.

Topics: Mobility, Emerging Tech, Intel, Samsung, Start-Ups

About

Jo Best has been covering IT for the best part of a decade for publications including silicon.com, Guardian Government Computing and ZDNet in both London and Sydney.

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