The Convergence of Voice and Data – Voice-first Revolution

I was first presented with voice enabled technology with Apple’s Siri on my then latest iPhone. Being able to control access to information by voice alone was a novelty and with a little practice basic commands such as ‘Siri what’s the weather today’ returned useful responses. Having said that, I fell quickly back to old practices of just thumbing searches and paid little attention to it until the advent of Google Home.

Purchasing this one Christmas for the family I was surprised at the ease of setting it up and how receptive my young sons were to questioning Google for the most random nuggets of knowledge. Access to information is not but a button away but now from a word, a phrase, a sentence which if correctly designed produces an immediate and positive response. Yes, it does take a little getting use to, speaking slowly and pronouncing all syllables so that the AI’s able to recognise the individual voice.

So what does this signify for the future and how should business view it? The past has taught us that to dismiss new technology you do so at your peril! Competitors with greater appetites for creativity and innovation flock to harness its power with degrees of success and failure but the reality is that not all business is able to do so. In this particular case though with the constant pressure to improve customer experience this could and can be an additional medium to consider.

I believe that voice bridges the gap between traditional human interaction and the impersonal world of the Internet. Sure you don’t actually interact with a physical being but to be able to use the most natural of our basic interactions whenever we need to, that’s got to have perceived value. The application of voice enabled services won’t apply to all situations but it could be helpful in facilitating customer service or resolving challenges where hands-free is essential and access to information or performing actions on the spot is an absolute benefit.

As AI technology, at the core of voice enabled devices, becomes ever more clever so will the opportunity for business, it’s a matter of understanding ‘what’ that offers us, ‘who’ it ultimately benefits and ‘how’ might we implement it. We at Rocktime are one of a number of technology companies looking to explore ideas with business and running our Discovery Workshops we can help you to establish what that might mean for your brand, product, service and company using practical Design Thinking Methodologies.

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