Speech Recognition and Synthesis in the Browser

With the recent upsurge of Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, speech recognition and synthesis have become an increasingly important tool in the developer’s toolbox. Working with speech data can not only improve the accessibility of your application. It can also increase conversion in your webshop, especially when customers shop on their mobile phones. Native apps have a large advantage in this space, as Apple’s SiriKit and Google’s Assistant SDK can get you up and running in a few minutes to hours.

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No WeChat no life (part III): implementing an echo service

In this three-part series on WeChat, Léon will show you how the Chinese alternative to WhatsApp’ is transforming the on- and offline lives of Chinese consumers, thereby forcing companies to reconsider their marketing and sales strategies. In the previous two parts, he argued for the necessity of a presence on WeChat for companies facing Chinese customers and gave an overview of the features. In this part, he will show you how to build a simple echo service using the WeChat APIs.

After the previous two more theoretical posts, it is time to get our hands dirty. As you might recall from part 2 of this series, companies can register an official account (OA) on WeChat to get access to all the APIs that the platform provides. An OA shows up in a user’s chat list, either between the regular chats or in a dedicated folder, and can send and receive messages to users or provide other useful on-demand services in the chat. Today, we will build an endpoint that follows the WeChat standards and can be tested on WeChat using the debug sandbox. It will echo any message a user sends by replying with the contents of the message reversed. Although this is not a really compelling example, it sets you up with the right tools to build more enticing user experiences on WeChat (and it forces you to register a WeChat account ;)). 

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