The Future of Voice Technology

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OTO Systems Inc
The Future of Voice Technology

When we were first introduced to voice assistants like Siri back in 2011, nobody predicted that it would become such a driver for tech innovation.

Almost a decade later, it is now estimated that one in every four Americans own a smart speaker (Amazon Echo, Google Home), while eMarketer predicts that close to 100 million smartphone users will be using voice assistants by the end of 2020.

But as big brands like Google and Amazon continue to fuel this trend and compete for market share, the technology behind voice interfaces is advancing at a very rapid pace. From banking to healthcare — companies are racing to create their own voice technology to keep up with consumer demand.

While people are turning to voice technology to make their lives easier, it is also a valuable business tool that can help ensure brands remain competitive and relevant as we enter the next decade of the “Zero Touch” UX.

The Shift Towards Voice

The key driver behind the shift towards voice is user demand. Millennial consumers are specifically showing a higher level of comfort and overall awareness as we live in an ever-evolving digital world where convenience, efficiency, and speed are constantly being improved.

Another contributing factor is the artificial intelligence adopted in our daily lives. The number of IoT devices like smart appliances, thermostats, and speakers is growing exponentially, giving voice assistants more utility in our daily lives.

Smart speakers may be the number one way voice is being used, but industry experts predict that almost every application will use voice technology in the next five years.

At CES 2020, Amazon said that there are hundreds of millions of voice-enabled devices around the world today. And at the heart of this disruption lies innovative voice analytics and computing.

Powered by AI

With the growing number of smartphone users globally, it is predicted that close to half of all online searches will originate from voice by the end of 2020. We are seeing the rapid development of AI and data-modeling technologies to infer intent and emotion from speech.

And the impact this has already had is impressive: 200 million Microsoft Teams users have interacted in one day, while advanced voice analytics have helped companies to reduce customer handling times by 40%. With companies around the world realizing the benefits of voice technology and analytics, strategic considerations are necessary — and here are a few suggestions:

Think Local

Many regulatory changes are being made, which will lead to more innovation for local customers. A great example is the voice-activated response system that was developed in India during the COVID-19 pandemic. Voice analytics will play a key role in most last-mile solutions, and this can be seen in China where AI technology has led to over four billion interactions a day.

Privacy Considerations

Consumer trust is somewhat fragile, especially for voice, as users rely on IoT devices in their private spaces. Companies that take the lead in Privacy by Design (PbD) to ensure that personally identifiable information is protected, could see a major competitive advantage.

Future Predictions for Voice

As voice analytics and speech recognition technologies advance, we will see search behaviors change. Advertising agencies and marketers predict that platforms like Google and Amazon will open up to other forms of paid advertising, as comScore estimates 50% of all search will be voice tech by the end of 2020.

  • Individualized experiences. As they get better at differentiating between voices, future voice assistants will also offer more personalized experiences.
  • Touch interaction. Voice and visual displays will merge into a seamless experience, as is already visible with Google’s showcase of the E Ink screen.
  • Voice push notifications. Users will be re-engaged with user-centric push notifications, as voice technology presents a unique opportunity for push notifications.
  • Security-focused. It is estimated that 41% of users are concerned with privacy, according to Microsoft. Voice payments will become more secure and more convenient for users.

Advancements in voice technology are helping digital voice assistants to become more sophisticated and useful. Not only has voice now established itself to be the ultimate mobile experience, but there is also a lot of opportunity for much deeper customer experiences. The only question is whether brands are willing to jump on this opportunity and gain a competitive advantage.

AI-powered voice intelligence is booming and we are at the beginning of this revolution. With voice being the most powerful touchpoint between you and your customers, you have the ability to leverage user voice data at scale with solutions from OTO. From home devices to healthcare and call centers — understanding key human behavior in real-time is now easier than ever before.

For more information about DeepToneTM and how OTO can help you leverage data and insights, contact us today or try out our demo.