How Voice Technology is Disrupting Different Industries?


App Builder Appy Pie, March 26, 2018: In the recent times voice technology has assumed a strong position of strong importance in the field of mobile app development and has been gaining mainstream acceptance. Artificial Intelligence has infiltrated our daily lives and has evolved greatly to understand the user intent and most of the industry bigwigs including Amazon, Google, and Apple are further solidifying the trend and proliferating it with the launch of their own branded hardware. As Artificial Intelligence is progressing exponentially, the decision makers are employing innovation, and unique thought processes with the intent to explore unique opportunities in order to leverage voice technology and apply it in areas that are different from the ones that are today commonplace.

“Alexa, is my train to work on time today?”
“OK Google, which is the nearest branch of my bank?”

These interactions will become an inherent part of our lives and our future and the future of technology would be interwoven with voice technology. It is only in the past couple of years that the voice technology has come into the limelight, however, it has actually been around for a lot longer than that. Why is it gaining and enjoying this wide popularity only recently? The computers may have been able to accept voice commands since the 90s, but the interfaces did not have the ability to truly live up to the potential. However, in the recent times with advancement in the field of cloud data and Artificial Intelligence, we have managed to gain the ability of delivering on the promise of a genuinely conversational interface.

As the voice technology has managed to intrigue a large population of the people and the popularity of voice services like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana has only increased. This means that the conversational interfaces for these tech giants have shot up to the highest priority. The idea behind the functioning of these applications is to create a sophisticated interaction that is keyboard-less using of one of the simplest available tools i.e. the human voice.

One of the most important proponents of proliferating voice interfaces through a number of other industries is the renewed focus of the top tech giants on the advancement of the voice processing technology. The touchscreen technology and interfaces went through a similar journey. The touchscreen technology and interactions only reached its astounding levels of widespread adoption after Apple decided to make its move. Voice Search & technology is at its brink of breakthrough as well.

In its initial stages of development ‘voice to text’ & ‘text to speech’ technology had its share of challenges and was quite temperamental and fussy. It is for this reason that as soon as the newness of the concept wore off, it became quite cumbersome and troubling to actually explore its use and scope in real world application. Voice technology, today has matured to the point that it has become quite easy to use, has become a lot more reliable, and is quite easily available at little to no cost. It is for this reason that in this day and age on a daily use.

Not only does the use of voice technology increase your productivity and efficiency along with a fun factor that the voice technology brings with it, making the mundane everyday tasks a lot more interesting.

For a small business, voice related technologies have the following benefits to offer:

  • It allows you to perform searches with your voice. As voice related technologies are getting more and more advanced, it is getting a lot easier to perform voice searches. This effectively reduces the time and energy needed for “manual training” that was needed for the past generations of speech recognition apps. Today they seem to understand your voice and commands a lot more lucidly, and help you accomplish the tasks you desire with great speed and efficiency.
  • It lets you create reminders and appointments. Most of us, who have incredibly busy lives need to create organized and clear to-do lists. With voice technology assistants like Alexa, Siri, OK Google & Microsoft Cortana, it is possible to add simple reminders or calendar items. It is time you bid goodbye to the loose scraps of papers & misplacing important lists and begin using automated measures of efficiency.
  • Voice commands can even be used to control a number of apps on your devices. Whether you want to look at a list of renters in your locality, look up a contact on your address book, or find a convenient flight to book for business out of town, OK Google & Siri are here for you. The fun part is that this list of commands that you can give your devices only seems to be growing. Amazon too has jumped aboard the voice technology train and has tied Alexa to Echo to listen to your commands and accomplish a series of mundane tasks.
  • It allows you to dictate entire blog posts for content marketing. Remember when managers had to call in their secretaries to ‘take dictation’! This process was not only labor intensive but was expensive too! This was replaced by Dictaphones which involved the executives speaking into these devices that would record their speech, this was an improvement but still needed someone to transcribe all the audio recordings. Today all you need is a simple voice recognition software, and you can dictate your entire content or a blog post with a mic on your computer and you have the whole post converted to text.
  • It allows you to proofread your documents. The voice technology is not limited only to sending out voice commands to a device. Text-to-speech conversion has seen a great evolution in the recent times and the technology has progressed by leaps and bounds. There are programs that have the ability to convert text to spoken word, which comes in especially handy when you need to proofread a document. Such programs can read out entire documents back to you in robotic voice helping you catch missing words, grammatical issues, or any other errors in writing.
  • This modern age technology can turn voicemails into text, which means you do not have to listen to them! With the right programs you can get all your voicemail into texts or emails.
  • The technology makes it possible to record a live event and transcribe it. The voice recording features that are built into most of the smartphones today allow you to record a verbal presentation and then you can get the recording transcribed.
  • Voice Technology may be used to translate the spoken words into other languages. Skype Translator is one of the more recent and interesting examples here, which can translate the voices in the Skype conversations in almost real time, while giving you an on-screen transcript of the same.

Top 5 Industries that are Disrupted Quite Evidently by Voice Technology

Quite like any other emerging technology, voice technology too has certain obstacles to overcome, but the potential or scope of the same is quite promising. It is the innovators and the proponents of technology who would create breakthroughs in voice related technology and drive the long-term success of this technology. It is in fact predicted that by the year 2020, it would be voice technology that would prove to be a catalyst for around half of all the digital searches conducted. Hence the top players in the industry who ignore the growth curve of voice technology may even end up losing out on their market share to those competitors who acknowledge it.

Let’s talk about the different aspects of implementation and disruption in different industries due to voice incorporated technology.

#1 High Tech Wearables

The high-tech wearables are enjoying great popularity and seem to only gain more with the passage of time. The screen-less wearables however, would see a tremendous growth curve due to voice technology. One of the most popular wearable device, Fitbit has only been working as a sensor that requires an additional mobile interface. However, if voice technology were to be evolved to suit it, these wearables would then not be dependent on other operating systems.

Other devices like Google Glass that have a small screen will benefit greatly from voice technology. In the absence of technology, the tech felt very conspicuous, which probably was why it failed. When the device can do away with the physical buttons or displays, they would automatically become smaller, lighter, and less distracting. Voice control technology will make the wearable tech a lot more adaptable, making possible to integrate them seamlessly, efficiently, and effectively into the consumers’ daily lives.

#2 Healthcare

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Healthcare sector or industry is one of the sectors that needs the highest focus today in terms of innovation and advancement. Voice technology and its adoption in this sector has the potential to facilitate groundbreaking developments in healthcare from increasing efficiency levels to patient care. Healthcare practitioners can make use of voice technology to generate documentation that depicts the experience with patients and post-care in a precise manner. The modern-day voice technology that is powered by Artificial Intelligence is a lot more proficient in identifying and understanding the natural language, physicians can transcribe entire documents with a lot more precision than a human transcriptionist. Also, this technology can help you mine medical records, accumulating them, storing them, streamlining them, and even in tracing their lineage.

For patient care, healthcare organizations are pioneering programs that use voice-activated devices like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple Homepod in the rooms of the patients. This gives the patients hands free control of a number of aspects like the temperature of the room, changing the TV channels and other settings that may be altered using voice-based settings. This is just one simple change that can help make the patients’ experience and convalescing period a lot more comfortable by letting them control their immediate environment. Another way that Voice Technology is disrupting the healthcare sector by helping patients keep track of their schedules by communicating details of the various procedures, the respective times, and preparation reminders all through the day.

Of course, there are challenges in implementing this digital transformation in hospitals. There are a number of issues including data standards, security, privacy, and systems integration that might be concerning and may have an impeding effect on implementing this transition. On the other hand, when implemented efficiently, voice technology makes quality healthcare accessible, convenient, and efficient.

#3 Customer Services

Customer service has already witnessed a big change since the advent of voice technology, but in the years to come, it is predicted that conversational interfaces will only usher in some great changes in the years to come. One of the most effective examples of this is, the use of voice recognition technology in order to enhance their conversational abilities in the call centers. Voice interface will only enhance any role that is dependent on the communication. It is true that human-human interactions are irreplaceable, but there would be a number of situations where the interaction and relationship would be augmented through a voice interface.

If Amazon Alexa or OK Google can take care of all your mundane tasks, then the employees can have more free time in their hands for more important tasks. This means that if a retailer were to implement voice interface in their stores allowing them to accomplish the same job with fewer employees on the payroll. The evolution of this technology and the companies that would adapt to it will have a definable impact on their customer experience. However, it is important to understand that investing in a Voice User Interface can help you save money in the future when the customers become a little more comfortable interacting with a digital assistant.

#4 Retail

In the field of retail, voice related technology is being used only for a highly specific task or pre-defined requests, however, most of the retailers today are witnessing a systemic change in consumer behavior. The consumer today is highly tech-centric and has entirely transformed the value criteria for traditional retail, and it seems that the next interaction point. As the trend of expansion continues in various commerce channels, success is only determined by how efficiently the brands integrate conversational experiences into their omnichannel strategy.

Following are some of the salient features that indicate this shift in buying behavior among consumers.

  • Of those users who use a voice activated device regularly, 62% plan to make a purchase enabled by voice technology within a time period of one month.
  • Of those who use a voice activated device on a regular basis, 58% use voice technology to manage their weekly shopping lists
  • Of those who regularly use a voice activated device, 44% order household necessities and related products at least once in a week.

Voice purchasing as a trend might be still in its nascence, but with its rising popularity, there might be a need for the retailers to revise their vision of an omnichannel approach in order to accommodate this new touchpoint.

#5 Automobiles

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Driving an automobile is as much a matter of responsibility as skill. The things that a driver can do while on a drive are strictly limited and because of the safety regulations involved here, there are really few tactile interactions that have been afforded by the auto industry. Voice technology will be hands-free which means that a whole new world of options would open up to the drivers while increasing the safety by allowing the drivers to keep their attention and eyes on the road.

As more and more drivers are turning to voice interactions on their smartphones while they are driving. However, if the big players in the auto industry act quickly, voice based technology has the potential of becoming the primary interface for the targeted group of users who are caged in their cars for really long intervals. As the digital assistants are vying for the attention of the consumers who are looking to make use of voice commands, and the automobile industry can prove to benefit greatly from it.

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