Meet Chris, Alexa’s New Rival
When you think of virtual assistants, artificial intelligence-based platforms like Alexa and Siri might come to mind. Soon, you might recall the name “Chris” when someone asks you about a virtual assistant. Designed specifically as an in-car assistant, Chris is a new platform from the company by that name.
What makes Chris unique
Whereas the goal of Alexa is to help its owner complete various tasks, Chris goes one step further. It eliminates the hazard of playing with your phone in your vehicle, to help curb the prevalent modern problem of distracted driving.
Unlike many infotainment systems in new car models, Chris’s 2.1-inch LCD screen isn’t a touch screen. It simply displays easy-to-read icons and reacts to both voice and three gestures (a push/pull, swipe, and high-five). It syncs with a phone via Bluetooth so you can use voice commands and gestures to place calls, access playlists, send messages, and initiate turn-by-turn navigation.
Additionally, Chris also works offline. This gives an advantage over Wi-Fi based apps and platforms that stop working as soon as you drive into an area without network coverage.
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The story behind the name
But how did the company Chris land on the name “Chris” for the gadget? The company’s founder and CEO Holger Weiss sheds some light on the platform’s christening. “We wanted a gender-neutral name during development. But then we saw the connection with St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, and it stuck.”
A secure design
Weiss explained that he and his company designed Chris with maximum user security. The data you provide the gadget when using it can’t be traced back to you. Though, like with any AI-based device, you do have to share some basic information so it can carry out tasks and recognize your behavior patterns and common requests when driving.
Chris is now available via the company’s website. It’s a great investment, especially for those of us who want to make our older car models a bit smarter.
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The News Wheel is a digital auto magazine providing readers with a fresh perspective on the latest car news. We’re located in the heart of America (Dayton, Ohio) and our goal is to deliver an entertaining and informative perspective on what’s trending in the automotive world. See more articles from The News Wheel.