Aussie tech entrepreneur Domenic Carosa has launched a phone “butler” app that goes beyond Siri and Cortana by relying on humans to perform tasks like booking restaurants.
The Cloud Butler was announced today under Carosa’s Crowd Mobile company, which listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in January.
Unlike Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana apps, which answer relatively simple questions about the weather or make calendar bookings, Crowd Butler can take requests for more complex tasks. For example, users send an SMS stating “I need a restaurant reservation in Melbourne tonight near the Casino”, and people at the other end take care of the booking, asking questions if necessary.
Other suggested uses include booking plane flights or hotel rooms, flower deliveries or a dentist appointment.
“Trained operators” will be available 24 hours a day to take requests.
The service is free, with Carosa intending to make money from affiliates who will pay commissions for orders, as well as from advertising.
Crowd Mobile’s chief executive Carosa is no stranger to technology ventures, with his resume including a position on the Cloud Central advisory board, co-founder of Destra as well as building mp3.com.au in the late 1990s. Crowd Mobile’s board includes non-executive chairman, former Melbourne IT chief executive Theo Hnarakis.
Crowd Mobile claims to have more than 500 “researchers”, and already offers various apps that let users ask questions in particular topic areas. They include the “What would Jesus do” app that offers feedback from Christians, and Bongo, which offers “gossip, info and more”.
The new Crowd Butler app was launched in Hungary in July, and will be launched in the UK in August and Australia and the rest of Europe by the end of the year.