Even before Apple’s Siri appeared, voice technology was already in use. IBM unveiled a product called Shoebox in 1962. In addition to 16 spoken syllables and numerals from 0 to 9, it could conduct mathematical operations. Harpy was developed at Carnegie Mellon University in the 1970s. 1011 words could be recognised by it. Tech behemoths like IBM, Apple, and others began developing speech technology in the 1990s. Apple started including speech recognition capabilities in their Macintosh laptops. Apple introduced Siri, the first of the popular voice assistants, in October 2011.
The release of the leading voice assistants on the market is depicted in the following figure:
Voice assistants are revolutionising how we use technology and live. During the past five years, they have seen a significant improvement and are now finally accessible for all applications, providing a unique experience for each user.
In the context of a mobile app, how significant is a voice assistant? Why would you include a voice assistant in your programme?
1. Provide users a really interesting experience
Users are engaged by voice assistants like never before. Users may ask for anything they want by speaking normally to the programmes and doing so while multitasking. Applications that employ voice assistants are perceived as being simpler to use than those that do not, since it decreases the cognitive work required for the user to acquire what they want from the programme.
Consumers view voice assistants as the smarter, quicker, and simpler method to carry out daily tasks, according to a new PwC survey. and that 50% of users of voice assistants are extremely pleased, making up 93% of customers. Voice assistants provide users a sense of organisation, knowledge, happiness, smarts, and self-assurance.
2. Make your application as painless as possible
Major issues with existing Graphical User Interfaces that employ touch, text, and mouse are that users must find out how to use the programme and frequently miss the value of the app while becoming annoyed. This friction is a major reason why people abandon programmes after only one use.
Users may ask for exactly what they need and receive assistance when they need it with the aid of a voice assistant in your app. Users will naturally learn about the usefulness of your application in this manner, and you will create the ideal first impression. Voice also directs the user during the first onboarding journey to reduce single-use drop-offs and hasten the “wow” moment for each user when they first use your service.
3. provide cost-free, round-the-clock assistance
Every application and service relies on customer happiness and retention, yet maintaining support employees around the clock may be expensive. Due to this, several businesses have chosen to forgo providing 24/7 assistance in favour of FAQs and help centre articles that provide consumers with a wealth of knowledge to “self-service” support.
Nevertheless, this type of “self-service” through articles is difficult for users, who frequently become overwhelmed by the volume of information and are unsure of what to do with it. Instead, voice assistants may take the user’s inquiries, walk them through the issue, continue to gather information much like a genuine customer care professional would, and then route the user to the appropriate solution. In addition to providing the user with knowledge, this kind of assistance may direct them towards the right process and assist them in entering the data they need to be successful.
4. Recognize what customers genuinely desire so you can enhance your product offering
The user feedback and usage data that users provide while engaging with the assistant is the X-factor of adding a voice assistant to a programme. Users will be able to ask for exactly what they need from a voice assistant in a way that seems natural to them.
With this knowledge at your disposal, you may get insightful understanding on how to enhance the application experience and product offering to increase the value of your application.
Voice assistants’ skills are always growing. Platforms from Amazon and Google have been made available to developers in order to increase the functionality of their assistants. Similar to smartphone apps, Amazon Skills and Google Actions significantly increase the capabilities of assistants by enabling users to voice-activate more tasks.
Sheppard (2017) lists the following as significant characteristics that set voice assistants apart from other types of programmes:
● NLP: the ability to understand and process human languages. It is important in order to fill the gap in communication between humans and machines
● The ability to use stored information and data and use it to draw new conclusions
● Machine learning: the ability to adapt to new things by identifying patterns
What are the most widely used voice assistants on the market today?
Due to their availability in mobile phones and home speakers, Google Assistant and Apple Siri are available on 500 million devices. Although Microsoft Cortana is built into both smartphones and personal computers, the user base for Microsoft-powered mobile devices isn’t very large. Because Amazon Alexa is only accessible in smart speakers, it covers the fewest amount of devices. Alexa, however, has a fantastic API interface and is well-liked by its consumers.
The Future Of Voice Assistant
Without a doubt, the use of voice assistants will increase. Users will be able to have more human-like discussions with assistants as AI-bots get smarter and more empathetic. Smart speakers are the most popular type of voice assistant. As the sector increases globally, they will be supplied more data to grasp each country’s language, accent, dialects, slang, and quirks.
Consumer awareness of this area is rapidly increasing, and there is no doubting that voice is the future of enterprises, homes, companies, healthcare, retail, education, and any other industry. To achieve a competitive advantage, brands must embrace voice assistants for search, content, and commerce. Simply said, the age of voice assistants is here!