Do I need an umbrella this morning? Add buttermilk to my shopping list. Play the latest episode of House of Cards in the living room. In millions of households, these questions and requests are already a regular thing in everyday life and are answered or completed (more or less) reliably by virtual assistants immediately. But how is it in offices? Are we ready to stop using our hands and let our voices work for us?
Right now searching by voice is a trendy topic. Studies and surveys are flooding the media with tons of data about the expansion of voice search’s market acceptance. This data predicts a future in which the voice will be the main interface (opposite the screen) for each activity. There is talk of an SEO revolution that has triggered hysteria among SEO managers (but don’t panic)!
2017 was the year of the spread of smart speakers and their digital voice assistants among consumers. Companies should expand their service offerings and optimise them for smart devices in 2018, which will give them more platform monetisation opportunities.
Excitement, entertainment, and nonsense are the best words to describe our first feelings about the first contact we made with Alexa, Amazon‘s voice-controlled AI assistant that is integrated into Amazon Echo and Echo Dot.
After testing the most operative part of the device, it is the turn for evaluating Alexa’s communication and self-learning skills. How smart is Alexa? Does she learn from mistakes? Is the communication process natural and seamless?
Ahead of schedule the smart assistant Amazon Echo completed the trial period and has been available for sale on the marketplace for any German customer 2 weeks now. The Handelskraft editorial staff was quick to order one and test it for a few days. We were more than curious to “experiment” and “talk” with a virtual assistant and obviously many questions arose while waiting for the package to be delivered: How useful and spontaneous could Alexa be? Could she become part of the family? Could the conversation be fluent and natural?
It is not a surprise that still today humans only feel fascination for the possibility of communicating with machines and interacting with them proactively. However, initially the rise of voice search functionalities (OK Google) and more recently the emergence of virtual assistants such as Amazon Echo, Google Home or Siri might contribute to change this perception. However, how far are we until it comes to normality?
In our 2-part series about Alexa we are going to the very heart of these questions that we are pursuing.
The spread of digital home assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, along with other IoT applications including smart cars and chat bots, introduces the voice as the next-generation interface. Actually, Gartner predicts that 30% of web browsing sessions will be screenless by 2020, what opens up new horizons for audio content marketing.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and conversational systems are going to be the “next big thing” in 2017. Not only because the renowned research firm Gartner has included both within the most important technology trends of the year, but also because Amazon is making big moves to integrate Alexa in every part of the customer daily life.
Consumers are regularly turning to their mobile devices to search. Basically, typing keywords in a browser and instantaneously getting a list of results doesn’t differ from the desktop experience. The various search results match pretty well with their questions and let them find, in the majority of cases, the perfect answer. However, the emergence of virtual personal assistants and voice recognition technology like Siri, Google Now, Cortana or Alexa might change the way consumers interact with their devices leading to re-think SEO requirements.