Esquire partnered with startup Volio to create the ‘Talk to Esquire‘ app, which offers advice and recommendations from three of the magazine’s columnists. Nick Sullivan, David Wondrich and Rodney Cutler will ask you questions about your needs and preferences, “listen” to your answers through voice-recognition technology, and then give pre-recorded responses about what’s right for you.
The app combines a guided Q&A format with voice-recognition technology to simulate conversation. It also uses your device’s webcam to display your face on the right side of the screen, giving the impression that you are making a video call.
Those who subscribe to Esquire on the iPad can click on the ‘Talk to Esquire’ button on the Drinking, Grooming, and Ask Nick pages in the April 2013 issue to download the app. iPhone users can download it for free from the App Store.
Why Am I Curious?
Esquire really seems to be trying different things to get on the digital bandwagon. Couple months ago, we looked at Esquire’s foray into shoppable content. Given the current struggles of print and magazine business, I think Esquire is being really smart about remaining relevant and trying new things although it may not have a direct impact on sales.
I am also curious about how well this actually works. While the sample video makes it sound quite smart, I wonder how robust the voice recognition piece is and how frequently (if at all) Esquire plans to update it to ensure its relevance.