Virtual digital assistants that you interact with through SMS or messaging apps are all the rage. A group at Techcrunch’s London Hackathon jumped onto the texting-bot bandwagon with the creation of WhatsBot.
As a hackathon creation, WhatsBot’s capabilities were understandably limited. By adding the bot’s phone number to your contact list, users could include WhatsBot in a group chat. The bot would suggest convenient meeting spots based on the locations of all the group’s members. As an added bonus, the bot would chastise users if their texts contained profanity.
A team out of Bangalore, India has launched a completely different, but also chat-based assistant called Niki. Niki isn’t integrated with popular messaging apps yet, but that seems to be on the radar. Niki assists users with purchase transactions. Users in India can currently text with Niki to ask the assistant to add data to their mobile plans or to order a cab. Niki will continue to add new capabilities.
See my full story on Niki, the smart-purchasing assistant, on Opus Research.