It goes without saying that voice enabled technologies are still in their infancy, however with a number of big names investing in progressing its capabilities, voice is set to mature and become something we can’t imagine life without in coming years.
Many older generations may question the need for these developing technologies but in a millennial focused world great importance is placed on speed, efficiency and convenience.
Much of the focus on voice at present is based on voice assistants, the likes of Google assistant and Alexa being perhaps the most prominent examples. However, voice user interface in its simplest form may have the most use and the best integration into our day to day.
The next big step for voice will be greater contextual understanding, appreciating not only what people are say but why and where they are saying it and responding with consideration for all factors.
Steve Rabuchin, VP of Amazon Alexa says, “Our vision is that customers will be able to access Alexa whenever and wherever they want. That means customers may be able to talk to their cars, refrigerators, thermostats, lamps and all kinds of devices in and outside their homes.”
Its biggest hurdle to overcome is arguably privacy issues. People fear that an invisible interface isn’t secure, and the fear of a machine always listening puts many people on edge. This fear continues despite explanation from all big players in the industry claiming safety, and only listening when you say their ‘wake’ phrases.
Ongoing debate continues over whether Amazon or Google claim the no.1 title, but I’m sure both are keeping their eyes open for others bringing up the ranks. The one that finds the greatest use for voice will likely soar above the rest. For now its argued that Google will dominate voice search, but Alexa will lead in commerce.
In the meantime, for digital agencies like ourselves, focus will turn to how to incorporate voice into a full service offering.