Voice-controlled devices offer a wonderful level of convenience and increased efficiency in our homes, cars, businesses, and even when we’re walking down the street. Not surprisingly, the popularity of this technology is growing. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 46% of U.S. adults use their voice to interact with smartphones and other devices, and this number is expected to rise dramatically over the next few years.
A recent study by Net Elixir showed that the majority (64%) of people who use voice assistants do so via their mobile phones. This number is followed by 35% of respondents indicating that they use their voice to control smart speakers, while many consumers use this technology on a variety of devices, including laptops, tablets, and smartwatches. And the range of functions is extensive, such as checking the weather, making a phone call, asking a question, listening to music, shopping and many others.
However, the use of voice-enabled personal assistants already goes much further than our homes. Businesses are investigating the various ways that this technology can save them time and money while improving their ability to deliver products and services to the public. Since we discussed the potential of voice technologies and its future in the music industry, more and more enterprises has been adopting it to improve their business processes. For example, several hospitals are running experiments with both voice assistants and conversational AI technologies to increase efficiency. Hotels are also among the early adopters of voice-controlled services to develop smart environments. To support the tendency Amazon have just announced their Alexa for Hospitality, a new experience for hoteliers to leverage the simplicity and convenience of Alexa using the Amazon Echo.
A great choice of voice recognition technologies hold great promise for improving business processes across a wide range of industries. And here Amazon and their Alexa Assistant appear among the leaders.
Some significant factors determine Alexa’s potential for business and enterprises.
1. Alexa’s flexibility is fantastic, with a growing number of officially supported devices, including Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Spot, or Amazon Fire TV.
2. Alexa Voice Service (AVS) suite enables developers to integrate the virtual assistant into their own applications, thereby bringing the convenience of voice control to all connected devices to improve productivity.
3. Alexa for Business is already bringing new experience to organizations. Alexa certainly provides the ability for people to focus on the important aspects of their work, while quickly completing tedious tasks just by using voice commands. This technology can save a massive amount of time and aggravation, thereby increasing productivity and employee satisfaction. For example, Alexa enables the ability to start a meeting simply by saying “Alexa, start my meeting” instead of using remote controls, manually dialing into the call, and having to physically control various equipment before you begin.
4. While Apple only just announced their plans to enhance Siri and to allow users to create custom commands with the launch of iOS 12, Amazon has already enabled the ability for developers to build their own custom skills and make them available as private skills within the organization.
5. AVS supports code written in a range of languages and web stacks including Java, Node.js, Python, and C#.
6. Alexa skills allow developers to benefit from running in the cloud — the device streams a command to Alexa Voice Service where it is transformed into requests and then forwarded to the particular skill.
7. Alexa is learning to recognize user’s voice, speech patterns, vocabulary and personal preferences to work better the more they’re used. Furthermore, Alexa is able to maintain context-aware conversations, and Alexa skills allow for better natural language recognition, understanding complex questions, tracking context, and supporting the dialogue.
We are living in an era where technologies are evolving at a stunning pace. Imagine including smart and intuitive content delivery, seamless access to financial and market analysis, high-speed retrieving data and statistics, making online payments, and much more. All you have to do is ask Alexa!
What are your thoughts about Alexa Voice Control for business? Please share your opinions in the comments below.