Consumer-facing speech and voice recognition technology has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years, thanks in large part to innovations like Apple’s Siri AI assistant and Amazon’s Alexa platform. Operating primarily in the smartphone and smart home domains, respectively, these solutions have helped to shift consumer attitudes, with end users increasingly coming to appreciate just how useful voice interaction can be. Indeed, when it comes to a smart home device like Amazon’s Echo, it’s hard to imagine any other appropriate user interface.
Accordingly, as more and more devices go online in the emerging Internet of Things, voice is becoming the key user interface, not just because many of these devices are too small to support keyboards or touchscreens, but because voice is increasingly seen to be the most convenient means of interaction. The trend is well underway, with multiple recent examples:
Behind-the-scenes, solutions providers are investing more in voice interaction:
Meanwhile, some big names are quietly expanding their support for voice interaction:
And in the foreground, other major brands are starting to offer their own Amazon Echo rivals: