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By 5 August 2014 | Categories: interviews

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In the wake of Tempo Smart Calendar’s latest substantial update, the company’s San Francisco based co-founder and CEO Raj Singh spoke to TechSmart Business about personal information management and what lies ahead for its personal digital assistant app.

Earlier this year, Tempo Smart Calendar impressed us with its rich functionality and intelligent assistant capabilities, proving itself to be far more than a simple calendaring app, but rather a worthy organisational tool in a professional’s working life.

More recently, the app received a notable update, bringing with it new features and refinements to the user experience. Commenting on the relevance of calendaring and personal information management apps, Tempo AI’s co-founder and CEO, Raj Singh, explained the company found that there were different types of calendar users.

These ranged  from university students and working professionals to casual users, with each having their own usage profile according to their needs. Common to each though is that the calendar is a reliable ‘oracle’. “While many apps try predict the future, your calendar essentially tells you the future,” he pointed out.

Something new

With this in mind Singh elaborated that the company had revamped the user interface to provide what it thought would offer the best experience for each user, and more directly help them save time. “We tried to design the app so that it looked accessible and user friendly for those who use it once a week as well as those who use it many times during a day,” he elaborated.

Additionally, the app also now includes the ability to recognise natural language – essentially adapting to the way people input information in their own vernacular. Singh explained that the company discovered that users’ engagement with the calendar/information management app was directionally proportional to the number of events they had, and that a large chunk of these on a mobile device were actually tasks and appointments.

Furthermore, the new version has included iOS reminders, and has integrated these with the Tempo Smart calendar as well, to help users manage their schedules more easily.

Going the extra mile

Singh continued that, prior to the upgrade and in a bid to better offer a digital personal assistant experience, the company conducted several day in the life interviews with human personal assistants (PAs). The one common factor that each alluded to was managing their employer’s calendar required them to be able to impart who they were going to meet and where they were going.

Thus, the app has aimed to emulate this often required level of personal assistance, by offering one-tap directions and driving time. The new release has gone a step further (pardon the pun) by integrating  travel details as well, and enables users to see with a single tap their flight status, once they have inserted their airline and flight number into a calendar entry

That being said, Singh does not see Tempo Smart Calendar becoming a rival for the likes of WorldMate, an app which is dedicated to organising travel related information and which similarly aims to bring users up to date flight status notification.

The road ahead

“For us, it is more about catering to different modalities, and continue offering users another way to interact with data, ” he explained.

The good news though is that the app will shortly be available on the Android platform as well and will be designed for larger device form factors (such as iPads) in the months ahead. “This is extremely important, because people want certain universal experience across their range of the devices, and productivity is one of those categories that really benefits from a multi-platform experience,“ he concluded.

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