Imagine yourself relaxing in your bedroom and watching a San Francisco 49ers game. You want to order a pizza, but you are too lazy to open your laptop or mobile phone to place an order. In that case, you ask Alexa; “Alexa, open Dominos and place an order.” What are the other instances you feel like, you don’t want to use your phone to perform particular tasks?
I use Alexa or voice assistant for the following things:
- Track my schedule
- News updates
- Weather updates
- Schedule a meeting
- Set reminders or alarms
- Read audio books
- Maintain todo lists
Voice is the most natural form of interaction. Conversational systems allow humans to talk to the computer by using voice as a mode of command instead of using the text.
A voice user interface (VUI) allows people to use voice input to control computers and devices. Voice experiences are great when they offer a faster, more natural, or more delightful way of doing things. In short, it is what allows us to talk to voice-driven technologies such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana. Users can ask about the weather updates, order products online, and even call a cab, by merely using the language we already know and use daily. Voice assistants allow users to leverage automatic speech recognition (ASR), natural language understanding (NLU), and text to speech (TTS). Voice assistant is a huge advancement in the way we interact with computers. It is undoubtedly making our daily life easier
Rewind to June 2004, web applications were still doing significantly well, and mobile applications were not even on the horizon. On June 29, 2007, the first iPhone was released, and consumers welcomed mobile apps. Apple launched App Store in July 2008, and within 2-3 months Apple hit 100 million downloads in the App store. In the second half of 2008, after Fitbit is launched and the Android is entered into the market to compete with Apple’s iPhone.
Today mobile apps are prevalent and if you do not have one; you are behind as compared to your competitors or other tech giants. However, the world is making significant improvements in the technology and businesses have already started looking beyond mobile apps. With social media leap, enterprises have started using social media and various messengers to promote their products, services, and offerings. It means; social media has opened another channel for businesses to increase their revenue and enterprises are not stopping there. They want to innovate further to find newer business channels. So what is the next thing?
I can see the trend moving to Voice Assistant. In the last couple of years tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft has heavily invested in their respective voice assistant applications and devices. As per the voicebot.ai number of Amazon Alexa skills available in the U.S. were 25,784 at the beginning of 2018 and this number has increased to 56,750 as of January 1, 2019. It reflects 120% growth in one year, however, between 2017-2018 Amazon Alexa skills experienced 266% growth. It confirms developers and businesses are interested in the voice assistant platforms. Apple has launched first voice assistant Siri as a part of iPhone in 2014. However, voice assistant has continued its evolution and started looking for a newer device. It moved to a phone, plastic cylinders, televisions, lamps, lights, thermostats, WiFi routers, and watches; however, there is still more to voice assistant experience than what we experience today.
Today every business is trying to use voice assistant to reach out to millions of consumers in the market. They are not only trying to increase their revenue but also trying to create the best possible consumer experience. Voice is the most natural form of interaction. Thus, tech giants have recognized the need to incorporate voice assistant technology as a part of every business platform. Therefore as Jeff Bezos said, what you see in the voice assistant market is just a tip of an iceberg. So what do you think; will voice assistant apps popularity cross mobile apps popularity…….or has already crossed it???
Idea motivation from Raghu Reddy. Thank you, Raghu for the idea.
“Voice Assistant Evolution” Image Reference: https://voicebot.ai/amazon-echo-alexa-stats/
Also published on Medium.