Whisk Voice App Development for Samsung NEXT

Connected cooking experience in one app. Best-in-class functionality with seamless connectivity across devices and surfaces.

Client:  Samsung NEXT, Whisk

Technology:  BotsCrew Bot Framework, Spring, DialogFlow, Bixby Language, Alexa Skill Kit

Industry:  E-commerce, Food and Beverage

Platform: Bixby, Google Assistant, Alexa

Introduction

Founded in 2012 in Birmingham, UK, Whisk is the #1 solution providing smart and shoppable food experiences for some of the world’s largest food retailers and brands. 

Whisk created a smart shopping list that helps people discover, organize, and enjoy recipes and food. The company provides users with a way to save their favorite recipes, send any ingredients to their shopping lists, and purchase the ingredients through online grocery integration.

Whisk’s mission is to empower people to live happier lives through food.

Recently, Whisk was acquired by Samsung NEXT to collectively deliver seamless digital food experiences to people across the world. Together with Samsung NEXT, Whisk plans on improving and changing the whole cooking and food shopping experience. Using IoT technology, Whisk can connect smart kitchen appliances to the recipes and food shopping choices and build personalized experiences that interact with home appliances.

Challenge: 

Samsung NEXT aims to create a seamless hands-free user experience to make everyday tasks like creating a shopping list and cooking easy and joyful. They want to meet everyday cooking related needs like remembering different recipes and what to buy, keeping in mind family food preferences and planning the budget for food.

Solution: 

The Whisk app assists users in every step of the shopping/cooking journey and is available on many platforms: desktop, mobile, and, for Samsung customers, the Family Hub fridge. To give users an even fuller connected experience, Samsung NEXT wanted to expand Whisk to voice platforms helping to make the shopping and cooking journey more convenient and effortless.

Collaboratively with Samsung NEXT, BotsCrew started working on expanding Whisk’s capabilities to three voice platforms: Bixby, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa.

Development:

The development process started with a discovery phase. Together with the Samsung NEXT team, we discussed and validated the concept of the voice assistant. This included understanding the competitive landscape, agreeing on technical requirements, milestones, and timelines. 

For the first release, we focused on the most critical Whisk VA features:

– creating and managing shopping lists
– reading and suggesting saved recipes

Once the major features were decided, we worked collaboratively with Samsung NEXT to design the user journeys for all three platforms: Bixby, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. Based on those user journeys, we created a natural, simple conversational flow for the Whisk voice app. The focus here was to provide a fast and clear user experience that was baked into the flow so users could get to their desired goals as quickly as possible.

Once the conversational tree and dialog variation was settled, we moved to the actual coding.

We simultaneously started building the voice app on 3 different voice platforms: Bixby, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. We designed the architecture of the product to run smoothly on all three platforms. To do so, we used BotsCrew Bot Framework, which allowed us to deliver the project in a short time frame. 

We were extremely lucky to be one of the first to develop on the Bixby voice platform. The voice app that we were developing is one of the first ones on the Bixby marketplace that has launched just this year. That’s how we were able to work hand-in-hand with the Bixby development team. They provided us with all the required information and support. We spent hours on productive calls, and they assisted us in mastering developing on the Bixby platform much faster.

Because Bixby runs on devices with a screen, we didn’t want to miss out on adding multimodal functionality and decided to take advantage of the touch and visual capabilities. Adding visual accompanists and touch prompts to the voice app made the whole user experience smoother.

We have also implemented analytics that enable the Samsung NEXT team to access and view usage stats and reports. As Samsung NEXT plans to conduct user testing and collect user feedback, the analytics will help to better understand where to move with the next phases of voice skill development.

As the final stage of the product development, we submitted the Whisk voice app to Google, Amazon, and Bixby marketplaces.

Whisk Google Assistant

While working on this voice app, we had a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with a few great teams, including the Samsung Whisk team, Samsung NEXT team, and Samsung Bixby team. Every team we worked with was engaged and well-integrated throughout the process. We supported one another in research, development, and technology integration. This was made possible through our shared goal: making the food journey as joyful and seamless as possible.

Results: 

As a result of a great collaboration, the Whisk Voice App is now live on three platforms: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Bixby.

Let’s live happier lives through food! 🍲

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