Remember when we all first got Siri on our Apple devices? Users would ask their iPhone 4s, ‘What’s the meaning of life?’ or ‘How much wood could a woodchuck chuck?’ Fast-forward to today and the innovation that is voice recognition has moved on – a lot…
62% of Brits are already using or are happy to use voice-operated devices for shopping, controlling music, searching the web and finding the latest news, according to market research house Mintel.
42% of marketers have ‘developing for the voice interface’ on the roadmap for 2018, while 8% already had a voice platform – and that number will continue to rise dramatically (research conducted by global tech publishing company Purch).
Google claims 20% of mobile search queries submitted via its app are already conducted using voice. It is estimated that 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020 (as reported by comScore).
While consumers are more used to seeing a long list of results and being able to pick the most suitable one, voice results will in most cases only serve up one answer. This means we will need to consider whether voice-search results are returned via screen (eg, Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google Assistant) or via voice (eg, Google Home, Amazon Echo).
Users generally would type a short-tail keyword term such as ‘weather’ to get their local weather forecast, but in a voice search they might ask, ‘Do I need an umbrella today?’ This doesn’t only mean that the long-tail keywords need to be considered more creatively, but it also opens up more avenues for brands to step in with relevant content.
Philippe Aimé, CEO of persuasion-based optimisation platform Convertize, explains, ‘AI in 2018 will bring SEO-voice activation, which is an as yet unexplored opportunity for online marketers. What if, rather than being overwhelmed by choice, the customer knows exactly what they want? All they need to do is take out their phone and talk to it.’
Devices responding to searches will need to have better than ever SEO in an increasingly competitive space.
At this year’s CES 2018 event, both Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz showcased the progress they had made with in-car AI.
Hyundai’s Intelligent Personal Agent was co-developed by Silicon Valley-based SoundHound Inc, which specialises in voice-enabled AI.
What makes Hyundai’s voice command software special is that it’s able to recognise multiple commands. For example, if you say, ‘Tell me what the weather will be like tomorrow and text the kids to remind them about football practice,’ it would acknowledge two separate commands in the same sentence and complete each task accordingly.
Hyundai plans to install the Intelligent Personal Agent in their new models as early as 2019.
Originally planned for Christmas 2017 release, Apple HomePod has been delayed to ‘early 2018’. Apple plans to take on Amazon Alexa and Google Home with its own smart wireless speaker. Even though the technology won’t be vastly different from Amazon’s and Google’s, the growth of voice search will spike on its release, making it even more relevant than before.
The Consumer Technology Association has shown that one in four shoppers used voice assistants for their shopping during the 2017 Christmas season in the US.
The Amazon Alexa Skill store is growing by the day, and much like the App Store a few years ago, brands have been embracing it. For example, Philadelphia cheese has released a cheesecake recipe voice app. The LEGO Group has released an Alexa Skill called LEGO 365, which gives the user daily facts and news about The LEGO Group.
Photo by: Andres Urena