When Siri first emerged in 2011, it was very much a novelty. Now, voice activation technology has saturated our lives in a way that couldn’t have been predicted. Data from strategy analytics shows that over 20% of UK households own a smart speaker, reaching around 10 million users. Products that have resulted in such widespread success have encouraged tech companies to expand and take voice activation to the next level. So, let’s take a look at what’s in the pipeline for 2021 in terms of the future of voice activation technology.
Unique User Experience
Voice activation technology is being developed to enable devices to differentiate between the voices of different users, with some companies already implementing the tech into their products. If you were to ask ‘what do I have planned this weekend’, your device will be able to identify your voice and select the relevant information for you, rather than another family member or friend. Similarly, if you requested that your smart speaker plays you some music, you will be provided with music to suit your likes and dislikes. Whilst this is already happening, it is likely to be scaled up massively. This bespoke user experience is set to become increasingly accurate in the next few years.
Prepare to have voice activation all around the house, as tech companies are working hard to enable a vast amount of household products to respond to your verbal commands. The Alexa developer has already integrated voice activation technology into Samsung’s new refrigerators and is currently working on a voice controlled wall clock, helping you to visualise any timers you have set. The Alexa clock, alongside some other new devices, will work as assistants to your smart speaker via bluetooth, meaning they aren’t smart speakers in their own right, though this won’t impact the user.
There have been announcements to suggest that users will soon be able to make payments using voice activation technology through Siri or Alexa. When a user signs up to make payments using their smart speakers, they will make a recording of their voice over the phone which will then act as their password moving forwards. Many of the major banks are already using this technology, for example to speed up the process of asking security questions at the beginning of a call. Yet, it is predicted that this technology will be used much more widely moving forwards. Many users of smart speakers are already concerned about breaches of trust and privacy, which will only be heightened as a result of this new system. This is something that will need to be remedied in order for many users to feel fully comfortable in making payments this way.
Talking to our devices once seemed like an alien concept, however it has become a part of our daily lives. Our relationship with digital technology continues to shift massively, and our interaction with voice activation technology is no different. It’s an exciting time for voice activation technologies, as who knows where it will go next!