I have become increasingly interesting in the ASR (automatic speech recognition market), which - like Virtual Reality - is hardly new, but maturing and evolving quite rapidly.

In the US, you can now purchase an Amazon Echo Dot for only $45 - it used to only come as an addon the $179 Echo.

This means, that for under a hundred dollars, I can now tell this adorable little HAL9000 to dim my lights, lock my front door, turn up the thermostat and tell me a bedtime story - with a single command.

Google has also released its own all-hearing earbot Home.

IFTTT (If This Then That) has seen such an upsurge in demand for the own service in relation to these ASR devices that they have effectively recombined all of their various offshoots into a reintegrated, unified platform and rebranded their "recipes" to "applets" in anticipation of the massive surge coming in Smart Home and voice-driven tech.

This week I created a Fast Brief, TTS "Skill" for IndieGameReviewer.com that launched on Alexa later that day after being certified. The site can now have its excerpted digest read to videogaming fans around the world. With free and easy toolsets, ublishing a custom skill for the platform was a breeze.

Also, voice-driven games are emerging quickly on the platform. One of the standouts is Warner Bros. choose your own adventure "The Wayne Investigation" released in advance of Batman vs Superman.

I am not sure exactly how this is going to loop back to AR and VR, but the road converging is obvious.

Meanwhile companies like ToneTree and Virtelio are trying to further democratize the creation of AR and VR respectively, with off-the-shelf push-button creation solutions. (see articles below)

By the time my next newsletter goes out, there will be a new President in the United States. Let's all keep working to make the world a better place, and keep hope alive for the best.

Let love rule.

Hope you enjoy this week's digest! 

If you have a groundbreaking news story you'd like to see in the next issues of the VRTO newsletter, VR/AR related material you'd like to advertise, sponsor, present on a topic, have some feedback or want to list an Event at the VRTO Event Calendar, please email me at keram@virtualreality.to

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