We can all use an extra hand to make life run smoother. And, for some, that help comes from an app.
Wing is the smart assistant app that uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology – and real people – to work around the clock to make sure that everything from the menial tasks, like ordering an Uber, to the important to-do’s, such as booking a last-minute flight, are handled.
As freshman at UCI with messy dorm rooms and a parental visit around the corner, a thought occurred to CEO Karan Kanwar and Chief Operations Officer Martin Gomez: there isn’t a service available to help them tackle their last minute tasks.
“It was 3:00 a.m., our parents were coming the next morning at 8:00 a.m., we had clothes piled up, old take-out wrappers, unmade beds, open water bottles, papers stacked up on our desks, cables running across the room, and empty water bottles under our beds,” said Gomez.
Kanwar asked himself, “Why isn’t there just a way to get someone to help with this tiny odd job? We should look into that.”
The late night experience launched their idea for Wing.
The app uses AI to pull reviews from websites and apps such as Yelp, Google and Foursquare and ranks them internally when it outsources jobs to complete a customer’s task request.
“We developed a technology that enables us to contact a business,” said Kanwar. “If a customer needs a plumber, then the app goes on Yelp and finds the top 10 businesses that do plumbing and calls them using an AI system.”
In 2018, the team won $10,000 and first place in the “Consumer Services” category during the UCI New Venture Competition and was automatically enrolled into UCI Beall Applied Innovation’s Wayfinder program (then called UCI Applied Innovation).
“The Wayfinder program has given us an ecosystem where we can seek industry standard level advice from experts who have done it,” said Gomez. “It’s provided the fuel for us to have exposure in the Irvine tech-hub, yet has situated us in environments that put the business to the test.”
Their original idea consisted of an assistance app for students and has now changed to a premium-based model with a focus on working professionals.
Recent developments include an interactive calendar that allows the user to add tasks and a proprietary tool that translates audio messages into requests.
Wing’s technology also tracks the users “habits,” or, according to the app, a repetitious behavior the user makes within a certain time period.
“Monday and Wednesday, a customer orders an Uber, we begin to form a trend and on day three or day four, our app would ask the user ‘we noticed you did this pattern, do you want to make it a habit?’” said Gomez.
Wing operates in the Newport Beach area with plans to expand into the rest of Orange County and Los Angeles County by the end of the year. They plan to raise their first investment round this summer, making it their next major milestone.
“That’s going to be our way to cement our operations team as well as firming up as a proper working functional company, that’s basically going to look like a 1.5 million dollar open equity round,” said Kanwar.
Learn more about Wing.
*Cover: Pictured is the Wing application on a mobile device. Photo by: Amy Vong