Speaking out – the future of voice control

Voice recognition software has the potential to transform our lives, saving us much needed time. There are endless benefits of asking our devices questions, such as requesting an email be sent and app program be opened.When Siri was introduced in October 2011 with the arrival of the iPhone 4S, people were amazed at would it could do and the hours of fun it created.

Potential of voice activation

Fast forward and voice recognition has moved on in leaps and bounds with the arrival of Google Home, Amazon Echo and Microsoft’s Cortana.  Research by analytic and data company ComScore now suggests as many as 50% of searches will be undertaken by voice by 2020. Voice activation opens up endless opportunities, think of the time we can save by ordering groceries. Who knows it could be just a matter of time before we give up our keyboard or mouse and rely on voice alone.

Online shopping and advertising

One of the best ways of utilising voice activation is through online shopping and users of Amazon Echo, Google Home and Microsoft’s Cortana have been quick to acknowledge the benefits of this. A study by media analysis company Edison Research reveals 57% of people who have so-called smart speakers, have ordered items through them. Think of the ease of completing an online order with a couple of sentences. And, of course that’s what Google, Amazon and Microsoft want people to do as it opens up sales opportunities. It’s just the start of how voice activation can boost consumerism. In March this year Google produced a slot about Disney’s Beauty and the Beast being screened at the cinema. Google didn’t class it as an advertisement, just an information spot, but how soon could we see mainstream advertising on these devices?

Commercialisation of voice activation

If you undertake a search on a screen you will come up with a number of purchase possibilities.  Using a search engine is free and it’s common to browse for goods online and get comparisons. But what if you were searching on a voice activation device?  The likelihood is that these voice activation devices would only make a couple of purchase suggestions and not reel off a long list.

New advertising formats

It would be interesting to see if the responses were what people really wanted. Voice assistants are not always correct or reliable, sometimes struggling with the questions and giving out wrong answers. Type something on your phone or laptop and it’s easier to modify your results.Advertising is the next step for voice activation platforms and could naturally follow a similar format to radio advertising. But many off us switch off when radio ads come on the airwaves becoming so called ‘ad-blind’. Voice advertising may require further innovation, and it will be interesting to see how this develops. While the future is always unknown, technology is constantly evolving creating new solutions.

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