Newark Awarded Opportunity to Host Amazon-Sponsored Voice Tech Summit

Apr 4, 2018
by Josh Anderson

NEWARK, NJ – Amazon has chosen Newark, NJ as the host city for its upcoming voice technology summit to be held in July and sponsored by Amazon Alexa. This advance was announced today by Mayor Ras Baraka alongside a host of dignitaries including New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) President Joel Bloom, whose institution will host the three-day summit July 24-26. Also announced was Newark’s ability to offer Link ultra-high-speed internet kiosks on its streets, joining New York City and London, and becoming one of three cities worldwide.

The summit predicts to welcome approximately 1,500 developers, designers, leading brands and agencies. Speakers for the voice technology summit who have been confirmed 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)
  • Jack Weld, Co-Founder and CEO of Smartling, a New York City-based technology hub.

“These are game-changing announcements for the city of Newark. The voice conference is yet another milestone in Newark’s growing importance as a technology hub.” said Mayor Ras Baraka in a press release. “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.”

NJIT President Joel Bloom added, “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 chose to partner 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. Newark Fiber will run the services on the city’s public-private gigabit data network administered by the Newark Community Economic Development Corp.

Ari Buchalter, CEO of Intersection said, “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.”

Newark is one of 20 finalists vying to be the home of Amazon’s second U.S. headquarters, the so-called HQ2, but Amazon-owned Audible, the largest seller of audio books, does maintain a headquarters in Newark. Check out previous CapRE Insider Reports covering Amazon’s activity in New Jersey:

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