At A Glance – The Voice Economy

New voice enabled markets emerge

Also known as the conversational economy, the modern voice economy arguably began with the introduction of the digital assistant Siri to the iPhone in 2011. From this point onwards, the average consumer was exposed to interacting with electronic devices via the voice. This opened up a whole new horizon for voice enabled products, branding and customer engagement: the voice economy.

The voice economy has had a significant impact on consumer behaviour in recent years. In 2016, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that 20 per cent of searches on Android devices were made through voice. However, the seamless and organic nature of voice communication means that its functionality extends far beyond internet searches. With the popularity of smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home increasing, users are now making purchases, controlling their TVs and even switching the lights on and off with the power of voice.

As the world becomes increasingly voice controlled, several issues with this technology have come to the fore. The most important of these is security. Although millions of users have now integrated voice assistants into their daily lives, the “always on” status of smart speakers raises serious privacy concerns. What’s more, for the voice economy to truly flourish, the voice recognition capabilities of these machines must improve. This requires a significant upgrade to digital personal assistants’ ability to identify voice prints – the unique and unimitable sound of an individual’s voice. Only then will participants in the voice economy be able to securely transfer their normal internet operations to the voice, without the fear of impersonation or data breaches.

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