Voice Technologies

Posted on August 5th, 2022

The disruption caused by various technologies and how most of our activities in the present world have transformed to be more technology-inclusive and dependent has been colossal. The adoption rate of technological equipment that supplements our everyday lives is higher than ever. Smartphones, smart cars, and even smart vacuums have acquired a prominent position in our society. Voice or speech recognition technology is one of the technologies that have found an increasingly growing market globally.

Voice-enabled technology and devices like Siri or Alexa have transformed from intimidating to routine technology that facilitates daily activities in brilliant ways. As one of the fundamental characteristics of all living beings is their ability to speak and communicate, the intention of introducing and employing such technology is to create more bridges to fill gaps between devices and their users. 

This voice-activated or speech recognition technology has witnessed a massive influx of new on boarders in the past few years. The industry’s size has grown exponentially, from $2 billion in 2018 to almost $40 billion in 2022, and is expected to continue expanding. It is an exciting new augmentation in technology that is used in numerous ways.

How Voice Technologies Work

Voice technology, in common knowledge, works by collecting, translating, and analyzing the user’s voice and words. While the sole contribution of the user remains to speak coherently and directly to the device, the device has a more complex role to play. 

The device collects and filters through the sounds spoken to it that is converted into a readable format for the device to analyze and find meaning in, by using software and algorithms. When the device has enough information to understand the instructions or the words, the software creates appropriate responses that are relayed back to the user. 

The voice technology devices are built-in ways to learn sounds on the go. So, if a single user operates the device, the results would improve over time, owing to its ability to understand the user’s words more effectively. However, if several users with different tones and accents use the same device, the device’s vocabulary, per se, would magnify more, but it would take much more time for the results to show.

 

Voice Technology Application on Various Media

Speech recognition remains an unsaturated industry, with massive potential and a steadily growing usability. Voice recognition has already set foot into quite a few industries like:

  • Automobiles

The automotive industry has been a pioneer in adopting voice technology. Ford introduced Sync, an application that enabled drivers to make phone calls and control their music systems using voice recognition.

  • Consumer Goods

The consumer goods industry is the largest industry currently employing voice technologies. Devices like Siri, Alex, Home Pod, etc., by Apple, Amazon, Google, and more have disrupted the home appliance industry. Using these devices to control music, operate connected devices, like smartphones, and carry out activities like making phone calls, narrating articles, or even simply talking has become a routine for many people globally. 

  • Medical

Kaléo’s AUVI-Q is an example of how speech recognition is applied in the healthcare industry. This device is an epinephrine auto-injector, which gives voice instructions to administer relevant drugs to allergic patients. Another way of using voice technologies that have become very popular is to consult devices like Alexa to surf the internet and let the user know of any solutions to their medical problems or to help the user contact medical facilities if need be. Although relying on internet-provided solutions for medical emergencies should not be a practice, there is no way yet to filter out such questions and activities. 

  • Hospitality

In the hospitality industry, voice-enabled technology is used to assist guests in making their stay and experiences more enjoyable. Devices like Echo provide concierge services in hotel rooms themselves and guests can also use these services to control the lighting, air conditioning, etc., in the room, facilitating their stay further. 

  • Fintech

The fintech industry is a giant bubble that is rapidly inflating. Voice technologies have become an extremely valued augmentation in fintech, where applications enable users to conduct voice-controlled payments and transactions. Voice technologies are also used as a security medium that stores, analyzes, and memorizes the users’ voices, and are used while logging into banking apps. 

  • Others

The applicability of voice technologies is continuously being assessed for other industries like government applications, which would allow users to avail themselves of government services using this technology.

Closing Thoughts

Voice technologies are seemingly becoming a mainstream addition to the world of technology. With countless applications and immense versatility, voice recognition can be molded into more effective and advanced solutions that can be absorbed into various industries and platforms. 

Speech recognition can also be used for facilitating businesses by helping make business processes more efficient digitally, like setting up meetings, making calls, etc. Even though voice technologies are yet to reach perfection in understanding different dialects, accents, and tones, the future of voice technology remains bright.

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