Local News in Voice Technology

A technology partnership to learn how to make local news more accessible to voice technology
Project Type
Partnership, Voice Technology, Smart Home
May - July 2022
United States
Bloom Labs
Stephen Jefferson,

Over the past decade, interactive voice-controlled technology has made its way into smartphones, watches, and home devices to improve the convenience of how we request and engage with information. Many people equip their homes with devices like Google Home and Alexa and are forming daily habits to get told the morning weather and make grocery lists, all with a simple voice request. In parallel with this rising engagement, the software is becoming more sophisticated and adaptable for diverse languages, accents, and information requests. Unfortunately, stories from local news organizations, mostly smaller community outlets that cover our neighborhoods aren't yet accessible on these devices.

Qwhery is a technology startup that has worked with municipalities to make their public data and information accessible to residents through voice technologies. Starting in 2022, Bloom Labs and Qwhery began a partnership to explore the current barriers for the local community and regional outlets to reach audiences on this increasingly-popular technology. This partnership is the first time Qwhery and Bloom Labs are working together with local newsrooms and the technology.

In the summer of 2022, we showcased our initial prototype to select local newsrooms to begin gathering feedback about the possible experiences.


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