Fuente: Harvard

Voice assistants, smart speakers, and all manner of voice-first technology have enjoyed remarkable growth and adoption. Voicebot.AI reports that the smart speaker install base within the U.S. grew 40% from 2018 to 2019, now exceeding 66 million units. International markets have grown even more dramatically — Dutch adoption of smart speakers exploded from 0% to 5% in just four and a half months, for example, with no sign of slowing down.

Voice-first doesn’t mean voice-only, though. Smart speakers with screens — generally referred to as “smart displays” — are surging in popularity as well. In January of 2018, there were 1.3 million smart display owners in the U.S., and by the end of the year, that number had risen to 8.7 million — an increase of 558%. Products like Amazon’s Echo Show and the Google Home Hub upped the ante on expectations for voice-first technology.

The emergence of voice, which serves as the front door for artificial intelligence and machine learning, is already making a mark on a wide variety of industries. Consider these examples:

Health Care

Seniors often suffer from loneliness, isolation, and depression, and smart speakers have demonstrated effectiveness in counteracting this within nursing homes and senior living facilities.
Triad Health AI has created a voice-first solution to help Parkinson’s patients with their exercise regimens.
Ambulances in New England have gone voice-first, shedding unnecessary paperwork for emergency techs.

Simon & Schuster released a “Stephen King Library,” an Alexa skill which asks readers a variety of questions before then presenting them with the Stephen King novel they should read next.
Novel Effect, the first company accepted into the Alexa Accelerator (a joint venture between Amazon and Techstars), created technology which complements in-person live readings with audio soundscapes. In educational contexts, this technology has increased reading comprehension and retention.

Capital One was the first financial company to introduce an Alexa skill offering customers the ability to interact with their accounts, all the way back in 2016. Since then, many other credit card companies and financial institutions have followed suit.
Florida-based Best Innovation Group launched a platform which enables credit unions and retail banks from across the U.S. to offer voice-first banking. Customers can pay their mortgage, transfer between accounts, access account histories, and more using the company’s platform, which works with both Alexa and Google Assistant.

Marriott rolled out Alexa-enabled devices across five of its major hotel lines, while Google Assistant has been integrated by Hyatt to provide translation functionality for guests.
Extending beyond just hotels, travel companies such as Expedia and KAYAK provide various voice-first capabilities to customers, while restaurants such as Dunkin Donuts, Pizza Hut, and Starbucks have all rolled out voice ordering within the last 12 to 24 months.


Believe it or not, voice assistants are more popular and more prevalent in cars than in homes. According to recent data from Voicebot.AI, 77 million adults in the U.S. use voice assistants in the car, compared to 45 million adults using them on in-home smart speakers.
Almost every car from major automakers rolling off the manufacturing line has voice-first technology integrated, from Mercedes-Benz and BMW to Tesla to Chevrolet and Ford.

After seeing the success of DC Comics’ Alexa skill “The Wayne Investigation,” a mystery game promoting the 2016 movie “Batman vs. Superman,” Amazon introduced an incentive program encouraging developers to create voice-based games.
Activision’s Destiny 2 pioneered having an Alexa skill to provide in-game lore, equip items, and message friends.
Voice-enabled games have come so far that Drivetime.FM, a Bay Area startup, raised $4 million in seed funding to create voice-first games to be played exclusively in the car.
Beyond Alexa and Google Home

While mainstream voice assistants like Alexa and Google Home have been carving out a significant share of the smart speaker market, an equal market has been created for voice-first technology that eschews the major tech companies in favor of a more private, data-secure approach. Kansas City-based Mycroft successfully crowdfunded more than $1 million from over 1,500 investors to deliver Mycroft AI, an open voice ecosystem which differentiates itself with a localized, secure architecture that avoids sending data back to Silicon Valley tech giants.

Much like the web back in the ‘90s, voice represents a vast blue ocean of possibilities and potential. As voice assistants become more context-driven, they’ll become more proactive, rather than just reactive. They’ll find new ways to serve us and improve our lives, while also finding new ways to challenge our notions of privacy and security.

What matters right now is for companies to test voice-first technology for themselves and begin to learn what works for their business and what doesn’t. Start by assigning an internal champion or hiring an external partner to develop a pilot voice experience for your organization. That initial experience can then be discussed internally, shared externally at conferences, and built upon for future growth. A good initial project might be to take aspects of your company’s website, or other individual components of your company’s branding, and build a voice experience around those before moving on to more vanguard uses of voice-first technology.

Companies that aren’t paying attention to voice are already getting burned. For example, this recent report from Forbes, which my company spearheaded, shows that major publishers could be losing as much as $46,000 per day — $17 million over the course of 2019 — due to voice tech failing to help consumers buy the books they want. This loss could balloon to upwards of $50 million in 2020. Don’t wait for a similar report to come out for your industry — now is the time to invest, while voice-enabled purchasing is still new and not as widely adopted.

It won’t be long before every company will be expected to own and manage its own voice-first presence and capabilities, much like every company is expected to own and manage their web presence and capabilities. In fact, every time you see someone asking Siri to give them information, or someone asking Google Assistant for directions, you’ll realize that your customers are already way ahead of you.

Fuente extraída de: http://bit.ly/2JcTYLy