Is Voice Tech Ready for Prime-Time?

“Voicebot” reports that nearly 50 million voice assisted devices are in use in the U.S. to date. That’s a pretty well-regarded estimate in the industry right now. The more these smart speakers permeate our lives, the more “skills” are created to make our lives better.

But it’s not just about listening to music (which many of the devices are great for, by the way), ordering a pizza, or an Uber, checking your stocks, or asking a tricky math question… Now you can vote for the MTV Video Music Awards using your Amazon Echo or protect your home from unwanted visitors by instructing your audio assistant to make loud sounds of family turmoil or activity in the house. Fun, right? Just imagine the possibilities.

But flip the coin and all the hype about large numbers of people moving toward buying products and services by voice seem to be exaggerated, and this is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. A report from “The Information” says only 100,000 out of the 50 million are using voice to make purchases. That needs to be addressed. How DO brands plan to have an effective voice experience?

One more thing…check out this link for some of the top Voice Skills on your Alexa now.

This is a tech that will only continue to grow and become an everyday part of our lives but the critical mass in sales of the devices hasn’t yet translated into a full-blown use model. When the overall user experience (VUX) gets solved (understanding accents, inflections, etc.), Voice will engage everything from commerce to learning, from advertising to utility. Talking to your AI computer device will become second nature.

We are not far from the Star Trek world of walking into a room and saying…”Computer…”

But not quite yet.