Languages Magazine

How to Know When to Voice-Enable Your App

By Expectlabs @ExpectLabs
How to Know When to Voice-Enable Your App

The growth of voice as an interface is accelerating dizzyingly fast. Nearly every week, a new major product or company adopts voice-driven features. Already, multiple conferences are springing up, dedicated to the nascent but populous space of intelligent virtual assistants. Bing says one in four searches is activated by voice. According to Nuance, “in the past year…smart TV customers using their voices instead of remotes climbed by 230%, and the number of transactions has grown by over 300%.” Apple – whose Siri receives over a billion queries per week – was gently chided by at least two major headlines yesterday for not having implemented voice search in its television yet.

Indeed, in a fast-moving industry, a year’s lag to implement a popular feature can spell trouble. However, many companies weren’t predicting the rise of voice. As recently as two years ago, going all-in on voice was a bit of a gamble, but the technology has radically improved, with escalating user adoption following closely behind. Already, companies playing catch-up face this dilemma: building a high-accuracy, voice-activated natural language system from scratch is hard work. A team of top AI and NLP experts is required (now in short supply and high demand), as well as multiple years of development time.

Trust us; we know. Our own team of AI and NLP experts has already put in the time, so that other companies don’t have to. The result – our end-to-end MindMeld solution – can hook up any application with a voice interface, natural language understanding, and top-of-the-line information retrieval in a matter of just days or weeks, customized to any knowledge domain.

So, how do you know if voice is the right solution for your technology? A year ago, Expect Labs founder/CEO Tim Tuttle made this video, which holds as true now as it did then:

1) If a lot of people are using your app or service on devices that don’t have great keyboard functionality, or even keyboards at all. This includes mobile phones, smart TVs, wearables, and more.

2) If your users are often using your application when their hands are busy (e.g. driving, walking, biking – or while cooking or playing a musical instrument).

3) If your users need to navigate a large content collection. A lot of times voice can be a much faster way to find a piece of content than a keyboard or touchscreen.

4) If your users are trying to accomplish tasks that require multiple steps.

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