Cisco Debuts Spark Assistant
November 3, 2017
voice assistants are changing the way we live. Hundreds of millions of
people use these assistants regularly to check the weather, wake up on
time, and find their way around town. Yet there have been no virtual
assistants to help us at work— until now. Today at Cisco Partner Summit,
we announce Cisco Spark™ Assistant. It is the world’s first
enterprise-ready voice assistant for meetings. It will be available
first on the Cisco Spark Room Series portfolio, including the new
flagship Cisco Spark Room 70, which we also announce today.
Cisco Spark Assistant is the latest innovation on the Cisco Spark
platform. Unlike all-purpose voice assistants, Cisco Spark Assistant has
one goal: to help you have great meetings that run more smoothly.
“During the next few years, AI meeting bots will be joining our work
teams. When they do, people will be able to ditch the drudgery of
meeting setup and other logistics to become more creative than ever,”
said Rowan Trollope, SVP and GM, Applications Group, Cisco. “The future
of great meetings is Spark with AI and our partners have an incredible
opportunity to help customers take advantage of this game-changing
We will release Cisco Spark Assistant in phases, starting early next
year. In the first phase, a small group of customers will use select
Here is what you will be able to do in phase one:
•Start your meeting without any
typing or dialing: ◦“Hey, Spark. Join the meeting.”
◦“Hey, Spark. I want to start the
◦“Hey, Spark. Let’s get started.”
•Effortlessly join your own Cisco® WebEx® personal meeting room or one
of your co-workers’ rooms: ◦“Hey, Spark. Call my meeting room.”
◦“Hey, Spark. Call Victor’s PMR.”
◦“Hey, Spark. Call Michael’s meeting
•Quickly call anyone in your organization without lifting a finger:
◦“Hey, Spark. Call Sydney.”
•Control your Cisco Spark endpoint without getting out of your chair:
◦“Hey, Spark. End the meeting.”
Cisco Spark Assistant will use feedback from this trial to make itself
smarter. Eventually it will be able to do much more; for example, it
will be able to assign action items and create meeting summaries.
We know a lot needs to go right for voice assistants to be truly helpful
in meetings. The response needs to be lightning fast and super accurate
every time you say “Hey, Spark”.
To make sure this happens we built
Cisco Spark Assistant with:
•Machine-learning technology from MindMeld, which we acquired earlier
•Speech recognition technology
•Natural language understanding
Then we applied our deep knowledge of meetings, honed over time because
we deliver 50 billion minutes of meetings every year. With this, we
optimized the AI for the conference room.
Coming Soon to the Whole Portfolio, First on the New Room 70
Cisco Spark Assistant will first be available on the new Cisco Spark
Room 70, which replaces one of our top-selling video systems, the MX800.
Just as Cisco Spark Assistant will take on more tasks over time, it will
also be available across all Cisco Spark clients and hardware devices
Part of the Cisco Spark Room Series, Cisco Spark Room 70 features:
- 70” 4K screens. We offer both single and dual screen models.
- Beautiful, award-winning industrial
design and great audio and video.
- Quad 5k cameras. We have packed
double the cameras into half the space (compared to the MX800). One of
the cameras captures the entire room at all times, making intelligent
framing and best overview highly responsive and human. The cameras also
enable face recognition and people count.
- You can register the system on the
premises or to Cisco Spark through the Cisco Collaboration Cloud.
At its heart is the NVIDIA Jetson platform. This lets our engineers use
AI to build intuitive and intelligent capabilities.
Assistant takes advantage of our meeting room endpoints’ industry-first
advancements such as intelligent proximity, speaker tracking and
real-time face recognition. These let it see and hear. As a result,
Cisco Spark Assistant knows who enters the room, who leaves the room and
who is speaking.
We are hosting an invitation-only event for media and analysts in San
Francisco on November 13. Attendees will hear more about our
collaboration group’s AI vision; get a behind-the-scenes look at what we
are working on; and meet some of the amazing engineers working on our AI
“As Cisco continues to innovate across its collaboration portfolio, it
has significant and positive impact in how we expand our collaboration
practice here at WWT. Cisco Spark Assistant adds a lot of value to the
meeting room experience, and will ultimately enable WWT to tap its
extensive software and app development capability to customize
applications and use cases for enterprises. With the new Cisco Spark
Room 70, Cisco has rounded out its collaboration portfolio and continues
to provide us with the ability to expand customer choice in deployment
models, both on-premises and in the cloud.”
- Joe Berger, Collaboration Practice Director, World Wide Technology,
“We see Cisco’s Spark Assistant as a great example of how Viju can help
our customers expand the use of meeting rooms by enhancing the
experience with the Spark Assistant AI functionality. We now can provide
a familiar voice-activated technology that many consumers are already
using in their homes into our enterprise customers and enhance their
meeting experiences. Combined with the Cisco Spark Room 70 product, we
see significant opportunities in simplifying collaboration experiences
utilizing Cisco’s video and Spark-enabled devices. As Cisco continues to
innovate and develop these integrated hardware and software solutions,
we can also enhance our relevance with the line of business decision
- Jim de Poortere, CEO, Viju, Inc.