The latest commercial from Amazon where Alexa loses her voice is a great example that showcases how voice interface has already become an integral part of our everyday life. Just ask, and the work gets done! With Audio / Voice as an interface making speech recognition in its natural form marketable, the way we work, live and play is changing rapidly.
In an attempt to capitalize on this opportunity at its outset, technology giants like Amazon, Google and Microsoft are already fighting for consumers' attention with their virtual assistants Alexa, Google home, Cortana and the likes. According to some industry sources, Google and Amazon will be spending up to $9.1 Mn on voice-based advertising in the next 12 months. This highlights that as the technology moves from being a niche offering to mainstream supported by other innovations around the cloud, mobility and artificial intelligence, the possibilities of what could be done are limited only by our imagination. As this happens it will also drive voice to be a key part of the marketing and communication strategy between companies and their customers.
Predictions from the Past
The Oscar-winning movie "Her" addresses how a digital assistant powered by AI can have the ability to adapt and understand human behavior. Using deep learning algorithms, AI makes bots, smart personal assistants, vehicles, and other devices to feel more real or human-like. AI coupled with Audio, when used as an interface, is powerful enough to understand human emotions and have more natural conversations. Once a fantasy, has now become a reality! From simple tasks like controlling a refrigerator or thermostat at home to ensuring just-in-time supply chain availability for retailers by tapping into consumer expectations through data analysis; the emerging voice assistants are very close to becoming operating systems of the future.
The power of voice in the automotive market has long been eventualized by Hollywood with 'Supercars' that can talk and control the world around them. Present day cars are now starting to catch up with that vision and are already helping with tasks like reading out messages loud, finding nearest gas stations, re-routing based on traffic or playing favorite music with voice commands. As these personal assistants get fully conversant and more intelligent, the in-vehicle experience can be further enhanced by voice commands taking over complex requests from a user. With lesser driver distractions, mishaps due to road accidents might become a thing of the past.
Preparing for the Future
Each voice assistant is trying to find its niche by capturing different markets based on its strengths, be it home or office. Soon enough, the need to bank upon the strengths of different available voice interfaces (having access to different sets of data and with different specialized focus areas) will require the adoption of multiple voice assistants in future. Its integration into the future connected devices will involve the need for an ecosystem that can differentiate between multiple users while seamlessly connecting emerging technologies.
It is becoming increasingly clear that audio/voice interaction will soon become an expected part of a product or service offering. Rather than being a nice to have enhancement, it is on a path to be a key platform for engagement that may start to replace traditional visual interfaces. As the future of connected enterprise systems integrated with cloud, mobility, Internet of Things (IoT), and AI, supported by security, audio interfaces will play a key role in keeping things simple and rewarding to engage with; HARMAN is building capabilities that can help catapult enterprises into the connected world of tomorrow.
Let us create hands-free, seamless connected experiences that integrate and deploy audio interface to meet your enterprise or consumer needs. To know more, please feel free to reach out to us.