Voice-activated assistants had their moment in 2017 with Amazon Echo and Google Home finding a place in American households. The trend never really hit home in Poland, likely due the lack of support for the Polish language. Innovators from Warsaw-based Kogifi have decided to take the matters into their own hands and develop their own assistant, made with Polish customers in mind.
It all began with a trio of innovative entrepreneurs: Tomasz Gibas, Maciej Ossowski, and Jakub Koba. All three have substantial experience in IT, including work for major projects such as Photon Entertainment, or Coders Center. Their brain-child, Kogifi, functions as a startup accelerator which aims to turn innovative ideas into successful businesses.
Our goal is to create the first, fully localized voice assistant, as the current market lacks a smart speaker product able to communicate in the Polish language. Moreover, because all of the popular voice assistants have been created in other countries, many of their functionalities are not available in Poland, and clients still need to pay the full price for them. The fact that our system will be created here, and with a Polish consumer in mind, gives it a huge advantage. – says Tomasz Gibas.
Currently, voice-activated assistants in Poland function as a niche market which almost exclusively targets fans of new technologies. The issue seems to lie not only with the products being inaccessible, but also with their lack of tailoring for the Polish consumer. Kogifi aims to raise the popularity of the VA tech by introducing the idea to wider audiences by focusing on the issue of accessibility.
The aspect of using the Polish language alone opens up the market for our product. We really want to focus on the elderly clients, as well as people with disabilities, who may not be able to use a traditional PC, but who could find such an assistant truly helpful. – stated Maciej Ossowski.
Kogifi’s product has been in the development state for quite some time now, and the company already has a prototype on their hands. Currently, their team is exploring some of the business aspects of the product, such as a subscription service enabling access to additional functions. In hopes to give their smart speaker the widest array of functions possible, Kogifi is currently looking for partners interested in giving the VA access to their services. The final product is meant to be presented in the summer of 2018.
Do you think a voice activated assistant could stand a chance on the Polish market? To find out more about Kogifi and their work, head to their website.
Originally published to Impact CEE