VOICE UI TRENDS IN 2019
We are going back to our old ways in the coming days! Life sure is coming a full circle. We are talking of communication! Earlier it was all talk, yelling, screaming, hair-pulling and all which then moved to making pictures to communicate ideas. These pictures themselves gave way to words and letters. With time, these moved to machines which we now call computers. Computers at one time had to be fed information via keyboards and mouse to get a response. With change in needs and preferences, we now use computers for practically every activity other than breathing and eating! The mode of inputting information too has thus changed. And changed drastically! We are now surely on the way of inputting and extracting information based on the user’s voice! The User experience and User interface has likewise changed to a great, great extent with computers now mapping human voices to understand context and give out information. The years from 2019 would be momentous to say the least. And in that, the following would be some of the trends:
Understanding of context and responses tuned to the same.
We are making our machines close to the way we are in terms of responses. Helping us do the same is AI & GI. Till a while back, machines responded on “what” was being asked. They are now moving to the “whys” and “wheres” of these questions and responses. In doing so (provided it is done smoothly and seamlessly!), what we would be getting is highly personalized information tailor-made to specific contexts & individual needs.
In the race to get ahead in this market in which Google and Amazon play a major role, Google seems to have stolen the march with its “Assistant” even anticipating the next set of questions after the first has been dealt with. Amazon’s Alexa it seems, may take a while.
Personalized experience right down to pet-names!
Imagine an application which can read your voice, listen to your requests and reply to you, calling you by your pet-name! That is the next big thing! Listening and identifying voices, their moods, individual idiosyncrasies etc would be the next big, big thing in VUI! And Google Home is already on to it with its ability to identify nothing less than 6 user accounts – just by their voices! Simple acts like reading out the activities of the day, the likely weather reports, bank statement, place of work, position held etc can be expected soon!
Moving beyond the mobile
Mobiles are what brought about the revolution in UX/ UI and the need to move beyond PC. Then came the likes of Alexa and myriad assistants who would relay information and be the perfect interface. Henceforth, using specialized apps, one could communicate within confined areas and otherwise with a whole range of machines such as automobiles, cash-vending machines, shopping carts, doors and windows and what have you. All this would make the activity of designing apps much, much more complex and specialized given that they would have to be interoperable between platforms and between gadgets themselves- all this while interacting with human voices instead of keypads!
Searching shall move to voice mode!
Within a year’s time i.e. by 2020, 50% of searches across gadgets would be voice-based! Yes, the days of peering over your mobile screens while trying to type your searches would be gone- in just a year! It would be especially heartening for the young and old, and if we could put in regional languages, for a whole load of Indians who are semi-literate, don’t understand English too well (or don’t understand it at all!) but all the same, can constitute the search engine’s biggest single market anywhere! But the problem is accesses. Search till now was confined to screens on browsers. How do you handle it the moment for voice where you cannot see anything? Most likely apps too would become voice-driven and would be available on mobile phones. But then, how does one show options like is the case with ranked sites on Google? Like always, technology does find its own solutions! And with a market worldwide for voice-driven advertising close to USD 20 billion, it’s just a question of time before the right technology too comes around!
The challenge here would be to get and retain clients. And for that services like Google Assistant, Alexa and what have you may have to work on a push platform where the browser itself provides you information about all available options. It could also be the case of voice meshing with a screen wherein the whatever is being said by Google Assistant/ Alexa/ Others would appear simultaneously on the screen – not in terms of words but in terms of related visuals!
Financial transactions moving to voice mode!
Imagine moving your banking needs to a voice-based system! Wow it may seem initially but the very next moment, you would start to get the chill! What if someone were to copy your voice? How does the system of password work here? With so many gadgets in a single household giving and receiving information, how does one maintain essential financial security? That precisely is the next big thing in VUI where security is never, ever compromised AND what you get is flawless service. See this space for more!
The above are tips of the huge iceberg called Voice User Interface or VUI. With time, the whole concept will come out of its ocean of development and what the world would have is flawless service at competitive prices. And lives which become simple and trouble-free!
Here’s to VUI! May it grow!