Tech startup builds a Siri competitor using SMS

We previously blogged about how Uber was able to branch out and expand their service using text messaging. Now, a new tech startup wants to do the same by building a Siri competitor with SMS. 

GoButler recently just launched in the Canada, Germany, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S. offering free digital assistant services, like the ones that you would find on Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana or Google Now. The way it works is simple: sign up on GoButler's website and then text them whenever you have a question. Upon receiving the text, GoButler's team of employee respondents, internally referred to as "heroes," will search and respond with the answer to your question. It can even be used for more complicated tasks, such as booking travel or sending gifts.

The company was originally founded in Germany but recently moved to New York after receiving $8 million in investment capital. They set up a goal to create a virtual assistant that would be free and easy to use, allowing the user to go about their business without having to worry about something like airfare. Unlike most of their competitors, GoButler uses SMS rather than a dedicated app to be simpler and more universal, two of the trademarks of SMS as a platform.

"I think that these apps will become more and more like commodities over time," GoButler founder Navid Hadzaad told Business Insider. "Consumers don't have the mind space to think of 50 different apps at once, and keep what they're for in your brain. Even if you have it on your phone you just forget about it. And in the next six to 12 months the market will realize that there is going to be value in the player funneling the demand."

This is another example of how malleable SMS can be when using the right tools. Swift SMS Gateway offers the SMS API and gateway needed to easily leverage the speed and convenience of text messaging.