Zazu, once dubbed as the “smartest damn alarm clock” has just launched a new application for iOS, Android and BlackBerry and appears to be making a huge play in the mobile personal assistant space. As you may recall Zazu was founded at a Startup Weekend in Boston back in 2009 and has certainly come a long way since then. The original application was strictly an alarm clock, but instead of an annoying repetitive sound it would read you personal relevant information such as an rss feed or the weather for that day.
The new application Zazu Mornings, now available, is taking their original concept to a whole new level. The new technology integrates a user’s calendar, local weather, deals, personalized news, and custom content and presents it through a hands-free spoken audio stream or hands-on interactive experience. Whether in their bedroom, a morning commute, or at their desk, users are able to customize their information sources and set alarms that trigger the delivery of a personal newscast throughout the day from a human voice. The human voice is the combination of proprietary technology and a partnership with Burlington based Nuance, a major player in voice technologies.
“We’ve woken up thousands of users and now were letting them act on the data they’re seeing and hearing,” said CEO Punit Shah. “As our technology grows, we’re planning to allow your information to interact and better serve you. Our pilot programs and partners all share this vision and we’re pumped to have this team and set of opportunities to help make the connected world more sensible,” added Shah.
While unable to confirm exactly what the company has up it’s sleeve, CTO Marc Held told me “think of Jarvis from the movie Iron Man,” bold statement if you ask me. However, the team has just hired a PhD from the MIT Media Lab that specializes in developing innovative media consumption models, with a distinguished background in mobile and internet technologies. They have also hinted at leveraging the internet of things.
Taking the internet of things a little further, imagine waking up to your phone’s alarm clock and having your coffee machine and your TV turn on. Displaying on the TV would be a custom Zazu dashboard that would display your morning news, the weather for that day, your agenda for the day, the TV show of your dreams and even any local breakfast daily deals. Not a bad way to wake up anymore, and to top it off the voice is that of a soothing women.
This small 5 person company is the epitome of a bootstrapped startup here in Boston. The extremely hardworking team has made its way to TechCrunch Disrupt, won the PepsiCo10, and hired a full time PhD scientist from MIT all without raising a dime in outside investment.
Keep your eye out for this team and give the application a shot. You never know, it may turn you into a morning person.