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An 11th grader asks a smart speaker about tomorrow’s homework.
A real estate agent asks his cell phone for details on an upcoming showing.
A sales executive asks the TV in her office for insight on the impact of a recent marketing campaign.
We are at the start of a global shift in how users expect to interact with technology. Voice-powered tech is still far from its potential, but with more than a billion smart devices and speakers now in service, voice-powered tech is comfortably mainstream.
Businesses that adopt the technology now give themselves an advantage. Incorporating voice into applications augments customers’ user experience and elevates a brand’s perception. For example, according to research from Gartner, brands that redesign their websites to support visual and voice search will see digital commerce revenue increase 30% in the next three years.
Adding a voice to your technology is a smart, and surprisingly straightforward, way to stay ahead of customers’ expectations.
Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung have already done the heavy lifting: parsing human speech patterns into lines of code, deconstructing sentences, and responding via natural(ish) speech.
These same firms have opened the gates to developers. Cutting-edge voice-activation technology is available via cloud-based application interfaces. This means a team of developers can add voice commands to just about any piece of software your business uses.
Consumer-facing applications – such as music streaming subscriptions and smart home appliances – are the most visible uses of voice technology. But this only scratches the surface. Voice-powered tech is rapidly growing its reach and quickly moving into the workplace.
Last December, Amazon unveiled Alexa for Business to turn the workplace into a voice-activated hub. Users can start conferences, schedule meetings, and check key metrics without touching a keyboard or a mouse.
The coupling of speech recognition with natural language inquiries, like Microsoft’s natural language query, will allow for powerful visualization tools that respond to simple questions. (Of course, any program that taps sensitive data must prioritize iron-clad security and privacy controls.)
Deep insight into your business could be as simple as a conversation with the speaker on your desk.