Here are 6 chatbots that solve real-life problems
Trying to improve class participation from quieter students? Or sending a distress signal for help?
It’s possible to do these from Line’s messaging app, thanks to developers who’ve tinkered with their APIs.
The Line Messaging API has been public since September 2016, allowing developers to develop chatbots for the messaging service. Line holds the annual Line Bot Awards to promote the development of chatbots.
Individuals and businesses were invited to compete for cash prizes of up to US$90,000. 815 entries were received and a quarter was from outside Japan.
Today’s chatbots are no longer just a preset menu of responses for customer service applications.
The Line Beacon has shaken things up. It’s technology which uses Bluetooth Low Energy to transmit data. An app on the phone may recognize the signal and launch content or perform an action.
The Line Beacon has given rise to enriching use cases, a few of which we cover below. Here are six notable prize winners:
1. Shakure shares files so you don’t have to
Winning the Geek category at the Bot Awards, Shakure enables event organizers and attendees to share photos and presentation materials over Line. No more endless post-event emails asking for photos and files.
Line Beacons are installed in the venue, and event goers will receive a push notification upon arrival. Anyone in the venue can send and receive photos easily, so group photos don’t need to be taken multiple times, and event organizers can share presentation materials directly to audiences.
Furthermore, text can be translated into other languages in real-time.
2. Mitchy promotes class participation
Learning in the Japanese classroom is traditionally passive, but Mitchy aims to encourage active learning. This chatbot lets students create group chats and exchange messages anonymously during class. This creates a judgment-free environment for asking questions.
However, teachers can see student names, which prevents abuse or harassment. They can monitor student progress as well. Unsurprisingly, the bot was created by students, winning the Student Category.
3. Yamato Transport goes the extra mile
Yamato Transport is Japan’s largest door-to-door delivery service company. Yamato created a Line bot that allows users to connect their Yamato ID with their Line account and have greater control over their package delivery. Users can get a chatbot to change their preferred delivery date, receive attempted delivery notices, and order shipping labels.
As a Japanese service bot, it is unsurprising that Yamato’s attempt focuses on being polite. It won the Lifestyle Category in the Bot Awards.
4. NgampusBareng localizes the shared economy
Forget school buses. NgampusBareng is a service for Indonesian students to hitch a ride to school or back home on a motorcycle. The chatbot connects students with available drivers. Drivers who give students a ride get points that can be exchanged for coupons and other benefits.
The service currently has 25,720 users, is offered in over 50 schools, and more than 150,000 matches have been confirmed.
5. And Hand gives a helping hand
With And Hand, people with disabilities can send a signal using the Line Beacon to request assistance, and any caregivers in the vicinity who have signed up with And Hand can accept the request.
This is particularly relevant to developed cities, such as Japan, due to their aging populations.
Line Beacons can even be installed on assistance devices like walking canes, wristbands, and chest pins. Through the And Hand official account, the two parties can discuss what assistance is needed directly.
The bot promises to support tourists during the 2020 Summer Olympics, where 40 million people are expected to visit Japan.
6. Yukiyama, “snowy mountain” in Japanese, will find your friends
If you’ve been to a ski resort with your friends, chances are you’ve lost them after an hour on the snowy mountain.
By adding the Yukiyama bot to a group chat, every group member’s location will be shared automatically via Line Beacon installed at chairlift stations, cafes, slopes, and anywhere else at a ski resort.
Skiers and snowboarders won’t need to rip off gloves in snowy weather to communicate their location.
In the event of an emergency, the chatbot could potentially help those who are in distress or lost along the slope.
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