A Christmas Gift from the Almond Team #

What is red, comes in December, and makes children happy? The new Almond website of course!

Well, maybe children don't use Almond (yet), but we are nevertheless delighted to announce our new website and developer platform to the world. Welcome to the Almond blog.

Introducing Ourselves

Hello! We are a team of 5 PhD student in the Computer Science Dept. at Stanford, working under the supervision of prof. Monica Lam. We have been working on the Almond project since spring of 2015, and we are now happy to share it with the world.

We had a website previously, but it was dull, boring, and not updated frequently enough. Now we have a blog[1]. We will use the blog to announce our papers, conferences and talks, partnerships and projects, and new releases of the Almond platform. The blog is the official voice of the Almond project, but we will also leave space to individual students and contributors to be featured.

A Stanford-Themed Website

Stanford Block Logo Without Tree

Stanford is unmistakeably red. Our arch enemy across the San Francisco Bay is blue and gold. How could Almond choose blue and gold as the theme color of its website? Something was wrong. Fear not, though: our new theme should leave no doubt of who we are.

Combined with the new theme, we have refreshed our home page, showcasing more of what Almond can do. Go ahead and scroll through the list of commands and the list of devices: I bet you'll stop before you see the end of it.

A Platform For Developers

Uncle Sam pointing the finger

We want you for the Almond project

Our prof. Monica Lam announced it in her keynote at Mobicom, but we never announced it here: the Thingpedia platform is officially open for business. We welcome new contributions from developers, device manifacturers, and hobbyists alike, who would like to have their devices, services and accounts available in Almond.

Almond strength and hope for success is the fact that we are truly open source. Not only all code is on Github, including this website and all the skills we maintain, but also anyone can contribute new skills, and have them part of Almond within minutes. So go ahead and join our developer program. We can't wait to see what you all will build!

What's next

Release happened, but we are not done. This year we also worked on two major additions to the Almond platform: Controlling Fine-Grain Sharing in Natural Language with a Virtual Assistant and Brassau: Automatically Generating Graphical User Interfaces for Virtual Assistants. These extensions have been released academically, but are not yet available to users. We are working to rectify that! Very soon, users will have the ability to share any device and any content (links, pictures, posts, etc.) in natural language with their friends and family. We will also enhance our user experience with beautiful automatically generated graphical UIs, complementing the current functional but not quite appealing chat interface. You can check our papers and research page for details, and we'll keep you posted on when they will be available to users.

  1. which we also wrote ourselves, because we are masochists. ↩︎