Further evidence in the FT that voice-interface is winning serious traction among consumers (and presumably, businesses in the future). Alexa and Echo are Amazon’s first-mover success and I’m sure will be joined by a proliferation of rivals soon. Apple are notable for their absence at the moment.
But this post is not about the tech itself, but who uses it. To me, it feels like voice interaction with the web/IoT is the ‘next mobile’ – just as businesses had to reconfigure the customer interaction aspects of their business to work on mobile devices, tomorrow’s businesses will have to figure out how to make sure they interact with the different voice operating systems. We can debate which applications will and won’t work - automotive, music and search seem early first successes – but as powerful AI and speech recognition rates improve from 95% to 99% (a big difference), I can’t see it going away.
Clearly voice-interface will be a lot more relevant for some business than others, but as an example of thinking more broadly Aviva are reportedly developing Apps (‘Skills’) that integrate Aviva’s content into Alexa (for example when consumers ask personal finance questions). I will be asking every business I sit on the board of their plans for voice-interface to spark the debate.
In the two years since its release, Alexa has spread like wildfire, and the voice service is now integrated into dozens of home gadgets, including refrigerators and, soon, cars. Amazon hopes that Alexa Voice Services, the digital mind behind the assistant, will become ubiquitous wherever voice commands are used.