It is often truly said that change is the only constant. The world around us has constantly been changing, and technological advancements are a major reason for this transformation. The past couple of decades have seen massive transformation across industries, owing to the revolutionary technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), 3D printing, Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and robotics. Voice recognition technology is one such futuristic technology that converts one’s voice into a command for the machine to perform functions according to what it has been ‘asked’ to do. With this technology evolution, it is imperative for businesses to focus on enhancing user experience, and make human-machine interaction seamless.
When there is a conflict between two people, having a conversation is said to be the best way to sort things out. Haven’t you ever wondered how easy life would have been if you could just converse with everything around you? Through voice interaction, it is now feasible for humans to interact with most devices around them. Be it home appliances, autonomous cars or any other smart devices.
Voice Activated Interactions – Enhancing passenger safety and in-car experience
We live in a zero-screen era where AI understands your tastes, preferences, and needs, to carry out most of the routine activities automatically such as making a call, playing music, creating playlists for car travel, making notes, setting up alarms, and reminders to name a few.
Voice-enabled commands reduce the effort. The initial setup might seem like an arduous task. For instance, while driving, you don’t need to actually use your phone to make or take calls; one simple voice command is enough. Moreover, you can use voice interface to make meeting notes of the key points discussed on a call while on the go with just a simple command such as “make note of this”. Speech recognition is an extremely crucial aspect here for a smooth user experience, and extensive in-built libraries enable functionality in most cases.
In addition to playing music, complete cabin experience can also be controlled using voice commands, to ensure a complete and comprehensive in-vehicle experience. This in turn, also enables high levels of driver safety, as there are no distractions. In addition to in-car functions, diverse tasks such as browsing the web, booking flights and hotels, creating to-do lists, going through the news, navigating, grocery shopping – other home management activities – can also be performed quickly and seamlessly by a conversational interface. The icing on the cake is that voice interface is also capable of personalization and customization of these tasks taking into account user preferences, needs, and user behavior.
What does the future of voice recognition look like?
The future will see this technology analyzing user behavior to an extent where voice commands for most tasks would not be required. For example, a father who drops his son to swimming class every day. On a certain day, due to other engagements, the father is not able to drive his son to class. The conversational interface is intimated of this, and using AI to understand the needs and preferences of the father, the interface will be able to book a cab that will pick the son up from home and drop him back from class.
Currently, most voice interfaces sound robotic and give mono-syllabic responses to the users, and certain design changes are required to make them more engaging. In the coming days, we will also see voice interfaces becoming more conversational with an element of empathy, emotion and emphasis wherever required. This will also enable a clearer understanding of human spoken natural language, and make way for intelligent and situation-sensitive insights.
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The age of convergence is here
The Digital Age is here, and voice-enabled interface has been deployed in a wide array of industries. Intelligence will be everywhere, and an intersection of functions across industries will be inevitable. For instance, with the convergence of Augmented Reality (AR), conversational interface will make it possible to project one’s phone directory on the windshield of the car, or project the contents of a refrigerator/microwave on the kitchen table.
We are living in an ever-changing world steered by intelligence-driven technologies and interfaces that have the potential to trigger unimaginable changes in the way humans and machines interact with each other cohesively.
The article is written by Vinay Jois – Lead, Automotive HMI Design at Tata Elxsi.