The San Francisco, Calif.-based Dilli Labs, a technology consulting firm founded by Indian American Piyush Hari, announced Jan. 10 that it has been selected by the city of Henderson, Nevada, through a competitive process, to participate in its 2019 Startup in Residence program.
Nearly 700 startups competed for a chance to work with 22 governments for the opportunity to secure a contract, it said, adding that the selected startups will volunteer their time with government agencies over 16 weeks to tackle civic challenges with new technology tools and services.
Dilli Labs will work with the city of Henderson to enable city residents to have a voice interface to city services.
“We are excited to join hands with city of Henderson and help them ride the wave of voice assistants to better the lives of their residents,” said Hari. “Using an intelligent voice assistant based on Amazon Alexa to connect to city services will be very natural and convenient compared to the conventional ways using web, mobile or telephony. The day is not far when all of the cities will deploy voice assistants that will serve as the primary channel for their residents to interact with city services.”
The company wrote their first voice assistant back in 2016 with the launch of Doctor Pooch – an Alexa skill that one can talk to in order to find out if it’s safe to feed dogs certain foods. Since then, said the company, it has written over ten Alexa skills and one Google Assistant Action.
Another Amazon Alexa skill, Dilli Forms, allow users to request popular forms like a W-9 and Freedom of Information Act delivered straight to one’s email inbox by simply asking for it.
“In the context of cities, imagine residents asking for the Park Reservation Form and getting it delivered straight to their inbox pre-filled with their name, phone, email and address! It seems like magic, it really is,” said Hari.