Voice Assistants

Hey Siri…!

Cortana!

Ok Google!

Alexa!

These words are now becoming household favorites. It is mesmerizing to see that one can control or get the things done using just their voice.

A voice assistant is a voice controlled computer software which can perform tasks or services of an individual.

Voice assistants are changing the way we interact with the brands. With Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, the number of use cases for voice-enabled apps is increasing every single day.

Voice assistants are currently available from below major brands

Apple Siri

Source: Siri – Wikipedia

Google Assistant

Source: Google Assistant – Wikipedia

Microsoft Cortana

Source: Cortana on HoloLens

Amazon Alexa

Source: Pixabay.com

Voice Assistants Capabilities

There are many different ways through which a voice assistant is able to serve you. Some of them include:

  • Creating a To Do list

Pretty basic, with just your voice command, you can ask your voice assistant to remember to get milk from the dairy.

  • Scheduling

Many voice assistants replace the (now ancient) Personal Desktop Assistants(PDAs), where they can tell you the upcoming meetings with their location. With your instructions, they can also let meeting attendees know that you’re running late and they should start the conversation!

  • Search

Whether you prefer the brand’s own search engine or any other one, Voice assistants make your life easy by creating an interactive experience to your day-to-day internet searches.

  • Trends in your area

Based on your location, powered by Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, a voice assistant can fetch you customized offers, music and finally the movie reviews.

While this list of abilities is not exhaustive, every day there is some new “skill” is being developed by a voice assistant.

Platforms

One would think that an assistant needs to be with you consistently, so ideal platform to use voice assistant will be a smart phone. But that’s not it! With Internet of Things, Smart Homes and Smart Cities are becoming a reality, so one would find voice assistant in your home in the form of a speaker and also on your laptop to expand the horizon of multitasking.

Amazon Alexa Smart Speaker

The leading smart speaker Amazon Echo enables you to use Alexa the voice assistant easily in your house. With innovative cases and capabilities, Alexa is giving it’s competition a touch challenge every day!

Google Home Smart Speaker

None other than Google has entered the Smart Speakers market with Google Home. Using the Wake Word – “Ok Google!”, you can use your Google Home enabled smart home devices to manage temperature, create ambience or even call your friends and family.

Cortana

This voice assistant is available on various platforms. You can use Cortana on your laptops powered with Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile or Windows 8.1. Cortana will use Microsoft’s Bing Search to perform the necessary activity and other information intensive tasks.

Along with mobiles and laptops, Cortana is available on Invoke Smart Speaker, Microsoft Band, Surface Headphones, Xbox One, iOS, Android, Windows Mixed Reality.

Acceptance by Consumers

Adobe surveyed more than 1,000 consumers in United States, and the insights are pretty interesting. Thirty-six percent of consumers surveyed said they use voice to make a call, 31% do so for smart-home commands, 30% for shopping/ordering items, 17% for food delivery/takeout, and 16% for flight/hotel research.

This adaptation of voice skills encourages companies to innovate and the voice assistants are becoming smarter than ever!

Under the hood, voice assistants leverage natural language processing to decipher what you said, then they take respective actions.

Looking at Future

Voice assistants bring in a fresh new era of possibilities. A truly hands free experience where we will get detached from our screens. If you take the voice assistant in your car, you can understand the route to your destination talking and not by using your fingers on an interface.

In his own words, Mark Weiser, father of ubiquitous computing, we are entering an era of “Calm Technology”, where we can get things done with technology with minimal or no learning curve!

Hey Siri, thank the reader for reading this post! 🙂

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