The accelerated rise in tech adoption across both, business and consumer platforms, especially due to the COVID pandemic, there have been several tech innovations in the realm of no-contact interactions. Voice search and assistance has been one such technology interface that has witnessed a rapid acceptance and growth.
As per a joint report by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), and the digital agency Isobar, titled: “The Voice Playbook” for India, Voice search queries in the country have growth at a rate of 270%, as post the pandemic, people now prefer to seek more contactless experiences. It is estimated that currently, 82% of smartphone users in India are using voice-activated technology, thanks to the already large scale smartphone and internet penetration, and the enhanced need for contactless technology experience.
Additionally, the integration of Indian and non-English languages, in voice search platforms, has proven to be a strong motivator for growth, making the medium viable for a large spectrum of multi-lingual demographic, ranging from the age group of six-to-sixty. Google further estimates that among its 500 million Google Assistant users, Hindi has emerged as the second largest and most commonly used language, after English.
With this backdrop, it is important and vital for tech product developers and service providers, to be aware of these 4 tech trends that are set to drive the Voice Search Industry:
- AI & ML innovations: Voice Assistance and Search leverages a complex combination of AI and ML technologies. From listening and deciphering the voice input, based on dialect and individual speaking styles, to delivering results swiftly and accurately in non-English Languages, often indulging in plethora of subjects, is definitely not a task for a simple AI machine! Even as ‘Voice’ finds wider acceptance, the AI and ML innovations are also set to expand and grow multi-fold, supporting the fast paced growth of the Voice Platforms
- IoT boom: Alexa, Siri and Cortana have become a part of our fast paced lives and these are just an introduction to the IoT powered smart Voice assistants and their potential. In the near future, as an increasing number of ‘connected devices’ or ‘smart devices’ come into play, powered by Voice Command and Voice navigation, the world is set to be transformed to a real life Sci-Fi movie!
- Cloud Computing and Remote access: Cloud is one revolutionary technology innovation that not only transformed the entire digital operations landscape but also paved the way for emerging technology innovations, ushering in the era of the Big Data and Data analytics. Going further, Cloud Computing is also set to be the main canvas upon which the entire Voice based, AI and ML enabled IoT infrastructure is going to solidly develop, making Cloud Computing an ever significant part of the digital human era.
- SEO and Content Marketing: With the transition from mechanical inputs to voice based searches, the process and format of Data input and outputs have also dramatically changed. What started primarily as a ‘Voice Search’ assistant is now ruling the search engines, commanding a position of importance and significance. From altering algorithms and recognizing voice inputs to now creating a new infrastructure for helping brands to navigate Voice based SEO and Marketing solutions, Voice Search and Voice Assistants are set to transform brand communication and infotainment, news and educational content formats and consumption.
In the backdrop of these technology trends, the age of innovation is set to transform all B2B and B2C interactions, forcing brands to integrate ‘Voice’ as a medium across all customer facing platforms. It would then not be a surprise if brands start offering ‘voice’ activated services at self-checkout counters, ATMs, automobiles, elevators etc., as an option, almost replacing touch screens. Currently, India is already a major video-first internet market, and is well on its way to becoming the world’s first/largest voice-first internet.
(The author is Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder, Goavega and the views expressed in this articles are his own)