Entrepreneur William Simonin (Vivoka) turns up the tone in voice control

William Simonin (Vivoka) turns up the tone in voice control

After some stammering, Vivoka found her voice. The start-up created in 2015 by William Simonin and Vincent Leroy (now technical director) in Metz (Moselle) offers a software development kit for voice assistants. In less than a year, its Voice Development Kit (VDK) has conquered around thirty companies and major accounts in France and abroad.

The Vivoka solution is available in three versions and can be used in 40 languages. It allows companies of all types to adapt voice technologies to their activity. Seduced by the concept, the Franco-American Luc Julia, co-founder of the voice assistant Siri, joined the start-up’s strategic committee at the end of 2020.

The crisis weakens Vivoka

This year 2020 had started badly. Vivoka, who caused a sensation at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in La Vegas in 2018 with its raccoon Zak, a hologram capable of controlling all the equipment in the house, proposed to decline its solution in the hotel and hospitality sectors. real estate promotion.

The health crisis froze these projects and even almost contaminated the start-up itself. Coming out of the first confinement, William Simonin mobilized his thirty employees and called on their creativity to find new outlets.

“The whole open space started to brainstorm and ideas went in all directions. Voice assistance can be used in all areas, from logistics to domestic IOT (Internet of Things), including commerce or services. But to meet these needs, we needed very precise expertise in each of our partners’ businesses, which we did not have, ”explains William Simonin.

Voice control of robots

Vivoka solved its problem with a unique proposition, VDK, which allows each user to adapt voice technologies to their own needs. It already allows bank employees or lawyers to instantly transcribe dictated reports, workers to order robots by voice, or even cooks to prepare individual meals by pronouncing the name of the guest.

Vivoka has launched a research program with the Lorraine university laboratory Inria-Loria to improve its performance. Half a dozen technical partners specializing in AI, embedded solutions or voice biometrics are mobilizing their developers. Bolstered by the prospect of 200% growth in the voice control market, Vivoka has certainly not said its last word.

* The Entrepreneur of the Year award is organized by EY, in partnership with HSBC, Verlingue, Steelcase and Bpifrance.

correspondent in Metz

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