By Tarun Dagar
We live in the age of convenience where we demand everything at our fingertips. Technology has allowed us to satisfy these wants, be it quick and contactless payments, controlling smart home appliances or even the smart features on our phones. Now voice is breaking technology barriers by making human-technology interaction simple, intuitive and a personal form of communication. Soon, everything that was once was at our fingertips will be controlled by voice.
Today, voice assistants have emerged as one of the biggest drivers of innovation. From voice-assistant-enabled smartphones to connected devices like Amazon Echo, voice technology is transforming the technology industry and creating a niche for itself among brands.
According to the report ‘Voice Technology in India: Now and Future – Consumer and Business Perspective’ by WAT Consult, 76% of the users are familiar with the speech and voice recognition technology. With its fast adoption in the Indian market, brands, device makers and technology agencies are increasingly realising the unique opportunity voice assistants present to engage with customers.
Voice technology offers the best hands-free and natural experience for consumers with a minimal investment in time to learn the technology. It has formed an ecosystem that includes developers and voice agencies and this promises only an upward climb for the industry. However, there are still gaps in the market when it comes to awareness of voice technology and its application.
Smartphones created an entire market and industry for itself with numerous developers, startups, and other businesses coming into existence. Similarly, with the entrance of voice technology, businesses are now thinking voice first and looking to get themselves on voice-enabled platforms right away. There are currently thousands of developers, agencies, and brands that are working on voice technology for India and international markets.
Organisations in the medical field are now opting for voice interface in their technology. Healthcare monitors that track vitals such as blood pressure, pulse, body temperature, etc., could only be operated by touch in the past. With the introduction of voice, patients, especially the elderly, can interact without moving, touching, or even looking at the device.
In a country like India, where vernacular is strong and literacy rates are not high, voice assistants allow people to access technology with ease. According to a Google-KPMG report, nine out of 10 internet users seek local language content in India. Access to vernacular voice technology will enable them to access content with ease and will directly increase the number of users in the country.
Additionally, with children forming a significant part of the user base, the edutech industry has seen sudden uptake in voice technology. Due to its easy accessibility, children across age groups are moving towards voice technology for education, as well as entertainment. As more clients opt to create skills for platforms like Alexa in new industries, the true significance and impact will be understood.
Currently, in India, there is a gigantic opportunity for voice technology in the IoT, automation, and robotics industry, as well. The future of technology is the voice and the opportunity it holds for various industries is unbounded. The potential is limitless.
The writer is founder and CTO, Voxogenic Technologies, a Gurgaon-based voice technologies firm