Newark has been chosen as the host city for a voice technology summit in July to be sponsored by Amazon Alexa.
Mayor Ras Baraka was to announce the development today alongside a host of dignitaries, including New Jersey Institute of Technology President Joel Bloom, whose institution will host the three-day summit July 24-26.
Additionally, it was to be disclosed that Newark will become one of three cities worldwide to offer Link ultra-high-speed internet kiosks on its streets, joining New York City and London.
Confirmed speakers for the voice technology summit include David Isbitski, chief technical evangelist at Amazon; Chiori Hori, principal research scientist with Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories; Noah Vidnai, vice president of product and user experience at A&E Networks; Anne Weiler, CEO of Wellpepper, a clinically validated platform for digital patient treatment plans; and Jack Welde, co-founder and CEO of Smartling, a New York City-based technology hub.
The summit expects to welcome roughly 1,500 developers, designers, leading brands and agencies.
“These are game-changing announcements for the city of Newark,” Baraka said in a statement. “The voice conference is yet another milestone in Newark’s growing importance as a technology hub.
“Voice technology will soon be how the entire world communicates with computers, machines, cars, home appliances and more, and it will be how these devices communicate with us. The people who are at the cutting edge of voice technology are coming together to discuss and plan how it will transform our world.”
Added Bloom: “NJIT has long been a catalyst for technological innovation. In addition to our significant research output, we house New Jersey’s oldest and largest technology business incubator as well as the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) — a portal and platform for applying NJIT’s intellectual and technological resources to challenges identified by industry partners.”
Newark is partnering with Intersection, whose Link product is billed as the largest and fastest free public Wi-Fi network in the world, in the launch of LinkNWK (Link Newark), a network of sidewalk kiosks that will provide services including Wi-Fi, nationwide phone calls and mobile-device charging. The services will run on Newark Fiber, the city’s public-private gigabit data network administered by the Newark Community Economic Development Corp.
“As a city whose leaders and policies are at the forefront of smart urban development and technology infrastructure, Newark is the perfect fit for expanding the Link network,” said Ari Buchalter, CEO of Intersection, in a statement.
Newark is one of 20 finalists vying to be the home of Amazon’s second U.S. headquarters, the so-called HQ2. It also is home base for Amazon-owned Audible, the largest seller of audio books