eMarketer forecasts that nearly 100 million smartphone users will be using voice assistants in 2020.
These statistics say nothing but hint towards a revolution that is underway. Customer experience for brands is being redefined with the voice interface. The targeted digital experience is increasing the usage of voice-activated technology which is leading to voice search and voice-related customer experience outcomes.
However, in this blog, we unfold it from another angle, i.e., how open source powered voice assistants are making progress and what does it hold for us in the future?
Nearly 70% of people use their digital assistant every day.
Using Digital Assistants to Full Advantage
Given a long trajectory of voice assistants being in use since 2011 with Siri by Apple, it is only in the last few years that they have picked up the pace with Amazon Echo and Alexa. These Artificial intelligence-powered digital assistants are designed to assist the user with simpler tasks and answering quick questions. Yet, the potential users are wavering in confidence due to their privacy concerns and they dread leaking personal information.
More than two-thirds of people (69%) use their voice assistant at least once a day. 31% of people who do not use their digital assistant every day are not taking full advantage of the technology.
Another reason for its slow growth is the continuous and gradual process of improvements. With every new development, the voice assistants are becoming accurate and reliable. Thus, it’s still a long way until it reaches a peak.
Why Adopt The Voice Strategy?
It’s a human tendency to always keep looking for more and more ways and scratching heads of innovation. The massive hit of touch screens and mobile-first technology led to an abundance of information being bombarded on mobile phones. Voice strategy is just a next step in the process to ease the consumption of this abundant information.
The personalization adopted by mobile phones is being taken to another level with the voice assistant. Making it easier for the users to search and navigate, the content repositories are getting broader and are eliminating the need for manual effort.
For instance, you can simply ask for the weather forecasts or the daily news without the bother of typing or searching on the web. For brands looking to enrich their customer experience and deliver an effortless experience, they should aim for voice applications that can unlock their success.
On the other hand, users agree that voice is the most efficient way of accomplishing tasks and can quickly become the go-to channel for many.
While there’s an increasing number of sales for voice assistant devices, organizations are still figuring out how to fully optimize it.
What led to the Shift Towards Voice?
Today, user demand is an interesting phenomenon to study and scrutinize. With each passing day, it precedes and creates a new form of need. After responsive web and predictive text, voice strategy is where speed, efficiency, and convenience is being tested to its max. Fueled by artificial intelligence, this shift is a collective effort of all other utility applications that were triggered along the way and are now connected by IoT. For example, smart appliances like speakers and thermostats are complimenting voice assistance in being fully employed.
Industry experts predict that nearly every application will integrate voice technology in some way in the next 5 years.
Best of Voice Experiences
Now that we know what voice assistants can do in our daily lives, let’s look at some of the finest examples that have been experienced.
Pizza Meets Voice
It’s almost utopian to have pizza have a voice. In an attempt to step up its customer experience, Domino’s introduced a voice ordering system. They developed a technology, in collaboration with Nuance, a speech recognition company, which now allows you to order food via smart tech. For customers to feel more connected, this initiative is bringing a lot of attention and curiosity to the business by tapping the voice-activation technology in the best possible manner.
Voice assistant is quite apparent in the customer experience and feedback sector. The real-time suggestions that flourish from the users’ end can improve the overall participation of the brand. In this respect, a platform (Observe.AI) was designed for the call center agents to enhance their productivity and effectiveness in terms of guiding the customers and understanding their concerns.
Voice for Web
Another aspect of digital assistance is its implication for websites and web development. The voice interaction on the web has been examined and here are a few scenarios:
Smart voice assistants can help us with manual password inputs and replace it with voice recognition or voice authentication. There are already existing traces of its usage in the banking sector but they are still limited.
The filtering process on the web can also be an area where Voice can take over and refine the unwanted terms or omit certain kinds of information.
Voice translation is another area where voice assistants can aid the web and improve the experience of practicing speech translation.
While many dread this, but AI is on it’s way to empathy. The voice assistants are said to detect your mood and tone, automatically adapt and give suggestions.
As exciting as all these sounds, it can be equally intimidating. Surely, technology has some exciting times planned ahead for us to unveil.
With an established security and demand, open source web has become a go-to for the majority of organizations. It is now making an entrance into the digital assistance area with a developer tool that can undertake tasks via voice.
The software can enable you to mold it according to your needs and preferences. In sync with the cloud computing technology, the voice strategy in the open source community can do wonders for the web. From detecting commands to carrying out speech synthesis, you can roll out features at your disposal, too.
Natural User Interface (NUI)
For long humans have adapted to the computer and its language and command. It’s time for a role reversal. Computing devices are now adapting to our preferences and learning our behavior patterns.
Though there’s no definite explanation, the basic idea of NUI is in the essence of the whole process, including gestures or voice, that should feel natural.
The book titled ‘Natural User Interfaces in .NET’ by Joshua Blake lists four guidelines for designing NUIs:
In an attempt to make the technology fit in the user’s natural environment seamlessly, the NUI aims to eliminate any delay in interaction or effort and creates a direct correlation between user action and NUI’s reaction. The users’ actions will have a real-time response with no restriction of elements as the NUI will follow the motions of the user simultaneously
The digital assistant is still not out there entirely. There are barriers and challenges that it needs to overcome before being embraced by the masses. AI and machine learning are trying its best to make its voice heard and build a robust speech recognition experience.
While surpassing all hurdles as the voice is trying to reach out to you, let’s give it a go!
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A Content Associate at OpenSense Labs, Jayati Kataria is a social media aficionado. When not scrolling down her Instagram feed, she can be found reading classics on her way to new adventures around the world. Also, she loves to binge watch and catch on the trending TV series.