Adoption rates of smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Dot have outpaced adoption rates of smartphones with over half of American homes integrating this new technology into their daily lives. Voice interactions with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are going to be a game-changing force across markets and industries much the same way smartphones have been. This presentation will provide insight into the current landscape and trends behind voice technology and leave you with some ideas for leveraging this technology in your own business.
Smart speakers have taken only 5 years to reach 50% of the US population.
How Voice Experiences Work
Devices are the physical hardware you purchase, which listens for your voice commands and then audibly responds to your request.
Platforms are the artificial intelligence software powered by natural language processing and speech recognition algorithms that make the devices “smart.” You can think about it as the “who” you are talking to.
Applications are custom programs, designed to work specifically with a particular platform, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Amazon offers smart speakers, such as the Amazon Dot and Amazon Echo; smart displays, such as the Amazon Echo Spot and Amazon Echo Show; and Amazon’s voice-directed software also works on various tablets, PCs, and smartphones.
Custom applications can be built to work specifically with Alexa on Amazon’s voice assistant platform. The platform is activated by speaking aloud, “Alexa,” followed by a command for an action you wish Alexa to perform for you.
Amazon calls the custom applications written for Alexa “Skills,” as if we are writing a program to teach Alexa a new skill or ability. You invoke custom Alexa Skills through your device by asking Alexa to engage them. For example, “Alexa, Play Jeopardy!” will invoke the Jeopardy Skill and allow you to start playing the game.
Google offers smart speakers, such as Google Home, Google Home Mini, and Google Home Max; a smart display called Google Home Hub; and Google’s voice-directed software also works on Android PCs, tablets, and phones.
Custom applications can be built to work specifically with Google Assistant on Google’s voice assistant platform. The platform is activated by speaking aloud, “Hey Google,” or “Ok Google,” followed by a command for an action you wish Google Assistant to perform for you.
Google calls the custom applications written for Google Assistant “Actions,” as Google’s approach to voice favors pragmatism over personality. You invoke custom Google Actions through your device by asking Google to engage them. For example, “Hey Google, ask CNN for the latest news,” will invoke the CNN action to respond with CNN’s latest news.
Check Product Availability
Allow customers to check on products and inventory at store locations or online.
Billing and Payments
Allow customers to check on balances due, schedule payments, check recent purchases, manage their accounts, etc.
Games and Quizzes
Create games, quizzes, and trivia for customers to interact with your content or products.
Connect the live customer support you already have in place for the web or by phone.
Open Knowledge Base
Make your free expertise and open information sources access accessible by voice.
“Frequently Asked Questions” seems perfectly suited for a device that answers questions.
Enable staff to quickly look up legal codes, opinions, precedents in legal decisions, or partners who specialize in certain areas of law.
Ask for doctor availability, room availability, or availability of any other resource stored in a data system. Find doctors who specialize in a field by location.
Connect to human resource data from an Intranet or HR system to quickly find people with specific skills or location.
Register for an Event
Allow customers search or browse available events and register for events.
Allow customers to see if tickets are available, at which locations and times, and allow them to purchase or reserve tickets.
Almost anything you can imagine your customers asking can be answered by a voice app.