“Alexa, which trains are going from Vienna Central Station to Linz Central Station tomorrow morning?”
“Tomorrow, the train Westbahn WB 906 is departing from Vienna Central Station at 8:42 – arrival at Linz Central Station is at 9:56. Or the train Railjet RJX 262 at 8:30 from Vienna Central Station – arrival at Linz Central Station is at 9:44.”
“Alexa, book me a ticket for the train WB 906. Alexa, set my alarm for tomorrow at 7:30 am, and Alexa, order me an Uber for tomorrow morning at 8 am from home to Vienna Central Station.”
“Your purchase is complete. Good Night.”
Train and taxi bookings could be done like this or similar in Austria (and all over the world) very soon. Because in a few years, voice assistants and the Internet of Voice will have changed all our lives.
Although we can only try to predict what the next years are going to bring, one thing is clear: many people and companies underestimate the far-reaching changes effected by voice assistants.
The “Internet of Voice“ as a revolutionary, new Internet
Some experts compare the topic of “Voice” to the invention of the internet. Sure, both then and today, there are overblown expectations and hype. But there is no doubt about one thing: The internet has changed our lives forever and permanently transformed our search for information and especially our communication behavior.
Considering the increasing relevance of voice assistants, the discussion has gained a lot of momentum with buzzwords such as the “Internet of Voice”.
Many things indicate that the Internet of Voice will be revolutionary. But what exactly will it bring?
With the Internet of Voice…
- search queries are done by the users via voice and not text input (Voice Search)
- customers receive responses in real-time without having to work through multiple search results
- most search queries are done without a screen, the response can by entirely vocal, or in combination with media on a connected screen (e.g. target page is opened on the smartphone)
- users receive a singular specific response to simple requests for information (e.g. “Alexa, what is Blockchain?“)
- users receive a limited selection of 3-4 hits when searching for suppliers (e.g. „Alexa, where can I buy floor tiles?”)
- users can carry out purchases with a simple voice command.
Facts & numbers – the Internet of Voice is coming closer…
Time is short because we are moving towards this new era with high speed.
- Gartner predicts that already in 2020, the majority of all search queries will be carried out via voice command without using a screen.
- 50% of all consumers already use digital voice assistants.
- Purchases made via voice command (“Voice Shopping“) are predicted to make a revenue of 40 billion dollars by 2022.
- Today, there are already more than one billion devices with voice assistants in circulation, most of which are Android smartphones. According to estimates, there will be 8 billion voice assistants in 2023.
We will rarely communicate with companies via email or chat. Instead, we will have conversations with AI-based, intelligent voice assistants to receive information or tips, and to assign them with tasks.
Rather try and start using, than wait and start losing
Many companies hesitate to commit themselves to the topic of voice assistants, voice search, and voice discovery. A reason for that might be a climate of uncertainty that has taken hold of many companies surrounding the implementation of GDPR. Obviously, the collection and recording of voice commands by users must always be carried out in accordance with GDPR.
Another aspect that explains such a cautious approach is the lack of awareness by decision-makers. Others want to wait for further development of the technology. According to the motto “others shall make the mistakes for us, and then we’ll take whatever works.”
Your company does not have that much time. Even if the technology is not fully developed yet: it gets better every day. And even more importantly: It gets increasingly requested by the customer. Once a user or customer has experienced the time savings achieved by voice search, they will not want to switch back to old methods.
Additionally, the nature of voice assistants and the corresponding knowledge modeling is very individualized and specific for every application. Best practices and progress of individual companies are not easily transferable and learning from the competitors is hardly possible.
Continue reading part 2 of this article – “The Internet of Voice – Why you need to act now”.