KnockBot was deployed to our Facebook Business page for internal testing.

Problems

  1. For the 75 million Baby Boomers, whenever there is technology troubles, the go-to solution is to call Geek Squad or other professional services that costs at least $100 per hour simply to adjust some settings, uninstall some softwares, or setup an email account.
  2. Millennials and older Gen Zs are often called to service by family members to help solve technology issues.
  3. While Baby Boomers want to receive services for much less than what current IT professional costs, Millennials generations would often be glad to offer help with tasks that they already naturally excel at for a small fee.

Solution

My team and I are building a platform to bring these two groups of people together. Give Baby Boomers a low-cost, on-demand, and effective technology help service. At the same time, give Millennials an extra avenue of income using skills they already have, within flexible hours that fit into their day jobs. The platform interface for service provider would be a iOS mobile application. For service receiver, there would be a phone bot in addition to the iOS mobile application.

We call this platform Knock. Our two main goals are:

  1. Provide low-cost, effective, and friendly technology help to everyone in need.
  2. Bring people closer together.
Logo Development

Preliminary color of this shade of orange is chosen because friendiness and warmth is one of the main message we want to deliver. Logo is still under work!
Why “Knock”
We used a word map to find a name that enbodies the goal of our platform - to bring people closer together. We landed on "Knock" when we saw its representation of a friendly neighbor coming over to help solve technology problems.
User Market Research

Rounds of interviews were done around Gainesville and Ocala in Florida to learn about potential service providers and receivers’ technology usage and problems. Further insights were gained into price calculations, customer experience preferences, and service needs.

Development & Plans

I have been building the prototype of the KnockBot using DialogFlow. This text bot is intended to be a phone bot in the next iteration. Once the prove-of-concept bot receive positive feedback from users, the goal is to build a native bot with Java using OpenNLP tailored to product needs. I will also build upon the native bot by feeding the speech into another pipeline extracting out affect features. Future plan is to use emotion classifciation results from the speech features to feed back into the dialog design.

A user with technology troubles would interface with KnockBot by providing all the information the bot needs to put in a service request and help the user find an appropriate service provider.

The UI for the mobile app is going through review iterations and app development had begun. It will be deployed to users from market research that agreed to help test the product and provide feedback.

Some Known Ongoing Design Problems

Assuming we have the technology…

The Bot
  • How to design a bot that gives caller a greater sense of understanding and reassurance than human?
  • Could bot provide better experience than human?

  • The Service
  • How to design our product and process so that the service receiver feel comfortable letting a stranger come into their home and also for service provider to feel comfortable going into a stranger's home?
  • How would liability for personal properties works?

  • The People
  • How to find the right balance between screening service providers for technology expertise and soft skills, and making the barrier-of-entry is low enough for everybody with right qualifications, not just those looking for a full-time IT job, to get onboard to become a service provider?
  • Is a background check for both parties enough to ensure all users' safety?
  • Current Stage

    This project has been on pause due to team members’ time commitment with internships this summer. It is yet to resume due to my graduate school applications.