Technology’s ultimate goal is to simplify our lives. Everything that has been created through the centuries, has been done with the intention of simplifying the way we interact with each other and the world around us. Now we take a step further.
A few years ago, Google added voice search so we didn’t have to type queries to access information. But guess what, it was heavily criticized for it’s low comprehension of what people asked.
Voice recognition is not an easy thing to do. There are more than 6,500 spoken languages in the world today and even with the Google focus in the most common, every accent and every person’s voice is different for the machine.
Google didn’t give up.
If you watched 2016 I/O conference, you probably noticed that voice was one of Google’s features getting more attention. They added it to almost every product. However, the one that created more buzz was “Google Home, a voice-activated home product that allows you and your family to get answers from Google, stream music and manage everyday tasks.”.
Why is Google betting on voice?
We are seeing a change of paradigm in the way we interact with the devices. With the arrival of wearables typing is becoming obsolete and we have to rely on voice technology to get things done. IoT is also boosting this trend, as we need different ways to interact with objects that don’t have screens.
It will also put an end to the overload of information on user interfaces, simplifying things till the point we’ll no longer need drop-down menus or drag and drop workflows.
But isn’t just that. For years we have been learning computers language, doing things their way. Now, they are learning ours and this will expand our digital experience to new ways and new people. As intuitive as a regular computer can be it tends to leave some parts of the population on the sidelines, like the elderly. Voice understanding is more inclusive.
In the end of this path are super smart Virtual Assistants, that will make our relationship with technology more natural and personal. What technology has achieved in this field is impressive, but there are other small progresses in voice understanding and recognition that already changed our lives.
Take a look on this article from the last year: “What’s going to change in our lives with Voice Technology”
Google isn’t alone
Google is not alone betting on Voice technology.
In 2010, Apple acquired SIRI (Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface) and since the end of 2011 has implemented the virtual assistant on it’s iProducts.
In 2015, Amazon was the first to come into the table launching it’s virtual assistant device called Amazon Echo.
And it’s not only the big ones, a lot of new startups are creating products for the new revolution.
Voice for Business Intelligence
Wizdee integrated Voice Search in its business intelligence platform in the end of 2014. The goal is simplifying BI till the point it becomes as easy as speaking a query to a smartphone using plain language and get an answer on the spot.
This is obviously useful for executives, managers and sales people that need answers on the go. However, the true power of adding voice and natural language for that matter, to a BI tool is how inclusive it becomes. Users can do business analytics just by speaking or typing queries, no training or special IT skills required. It’s all about simplifying the way we interact with data.
What would be more simple than just ask for what you want?