08 Jan The Evolution of Voice Recognition Could Change Everything
We’ve all heard of voice recognition software and the benefits it has on technology. However, it’s constant evolution and growth has continued to impress in recent years and now voice recognition has made its way into our business, home and personal lives. For example, within minutes of getting home and realising you have nothing for dinner, you could have a takeaway on its way and your favourite music playing. This level of voice recognition was once something better associated with a SciFi movie, but today it has made a mark on the day to day lives of us as individuals.
Voice recognition continues to evolve and therefore these digital assistants will also. Eventually these digital assistants will be able to understand the reasoning behind our questions and requests, rather than simply responding to a command. This will be done using recent online behaviours, tone of voice and past requests.
Will There Be Obstacles to Overcome?
As with any new opportunity, there will be obstacles to overcome with voice recognition and this is especially true for brands and retailers. Both brands and retailers will need to work harder to ensure their products and services remain at the forefront of what is being offered to customers. Currently, brands and retailers can market their products and services to their consumers based on how their consumers reach the point of sale, whether that be on their website or via a search engine. However, with voice recognition, they will need to ensure they are the ones that are being recommended.
For example, when a consumer searches online for a product using typing there are different options that appear. However, this isn’t possible when that consumer is using their voice. This raises the question, how does a voice recognition digital assistant predice the specific brand a consumer wants to use? Therefore, brands and retailers must find a way to make sure their products and services are the default option.
Will Consumers Rely on What a Digital Assistant Recommends?
Alexa uses Amazon reviews, availability, value for money and popularity to choose the correct product for a consumer. However, Alexa also takes a brand’s relationship with Amazon into consideration. Currently, for a brand’s products to be recommended by Alexa that brand needs to be available to Amazon Prime members. Plus, if the brand has an Amazon Choice designation, it receives priority billing in its specific category. Therefore, Alexa has a big influence on what products a consumer buys and Alexa’s recommendations are at the forefront.
According to ComScore, almost half of all searches will be voice based by 2020 and therefore brands are being encouraged to benefit from being an early-mover. A number of companies are in talks with Amazon to deliver their advertisements through Alexa and the Amazon Echo, which highlights the potential for brands to pay more for better advertisement placement. Whereas this is currently seen through SEO work on Google it could also work for voice recognition advertisements, allowing bigger brands to monopolise the market.
Will Voice Recognition Become Popular in Social?
Though voice recognition is mainly being used by Amazon and Google at the moment, it’s unlikely to be long before Facebook makes a play for the same success. The voice recognition market is expected to reach $10 billion by 2022 and therefore it’s likely that the social media platform will want to break into the market as well. Voice recognition also gives technology giants the ability to collate further data on their consumers as a way to improve accuracy and understanding; this is something that Facebook is unlikely to pass up. For many years Facebook has been using social media and search data as a way to understand more about its users, and voice recognition is simply the next step. Facebook is currently looking into AI and chatbots, so the next logical move is to enable these chatbots using voice recognition.
It is currently unclear how Social Media will utilise voice recognition technology but with Amazon, Apple and Google all predicting it to be the next big thing it’s sure to be used in some way.