From Touch to Voice: Why Your Voice is the Interface of the Future

[This post was originally published on Medium and can be found here]

No more typing, swiping or searching.

The user interface of your future tech devices and appliances will be the ones that you can’t see or touch.

Voice commands, voice recognition and audio engagement will be the de facto way to interact with your technology. Why? I subscribe to the belief that the best technology is the one that is invisible to the user.

We are already seeing glimpses of this all throughout our lives. Google Now, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana are just the start.

Elementary examples of other voice command technologies are already in use today, for tasks like writing documents, texting friends and for searching for a TV show.

I’ve owned my Amazon Echo for a little over a month and already love it. I can’t overstate how impressive of a device it is.

Do I use it every day? No. Does it solve every problem I have? No. Does it have the potential to? For common daily tasks, maybe.

What it does have the ability to do is flawlessly answer questions, perform tasks and understand intention. And this is just version one. What will version four look like?

The second act of this technology will involve connectivity to other devices, becoming more aware of user preferences and a deeper corpus of data. When that happens, our daily experiences of doing things will become much more delightful.

For example, in the connected home of the future, an effective voice interface will eliminate light switches, remote controls, appliance buttons, along with any task that requires you to grab your phone and perform a quick search.

As consumers see the capabilities here, the market demand will skyrocket.

The examples outside of the home demonstrates countless more applications. Think what this level of search, assist and action would mean in a work context, or retail scenario where humans currently perform routine and trivial tasks.

The number of new technologies and innovations that arise from this will create new opportunities because surrounding this interface will be a number of security concerns, such as voice fraud, when devices are listening and how the data is stored.

Furthermore, consider the problems/challenges/opportunities we haven’t yet thought of. What opportunities can you dream up?

Personally, I’m looking forward to having the technology of Tony Stark with Jarvis. That may take a few more years though.

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