It is estimated that by the year 2022 at least 50% of homes in the U.S. will have at least one smart speaker. The annual spending on smart home hardware and services will reach almost $200 Billion with 38% of the sales coming from North America.
Here at Josh.ai, we are always watching the trends of IoT and natural interfaces. With voice technology starting to make its way into our everyday lives, the way we interact with each other is not the only thing changing. Voice technology is also affecting how we interact with our phones, homes, and even our cars. It is safe to say that smart or connected technology, along with the evolving interface, will change the way that we interact with the world around us.
Voice Automation is Changing How We Compute
Not only is voice automated technology showing up in more places, but it is also sounding more human like. Deep learning, which was inspired by how the human brain functions, is how these devices can sound more natural, by using millions of examples from the internet to collect and process data.
For instance, we are able to look at pictures and identify those with cars in them. A device using deep learning can learn how to identify photos with cars in them, even when the device is not being supervised by a human. Also, technology is increasingly starting to rely on Natural Language Processing (NLP) to both understand and interpret human speech. Now that we are able to communicate without devices, it minimizes the need for user interfaces.
Even though the number of physical user interfaces might decrease, it does not mean that they will cease to exist. There will always be situations where it is more convenient for people to communicate with devices via touch instead of speaking.
Smart devices have also changed the way that people are storing information. Security is a primary concern regarding smart homes and voice automation. One of the best ways to optimize your smart device is personalizing the device around your life. Granting access to your email, calendar, and other information lets your device better meet your needs. One way that companies are offering more peace of mind is cloud computing alternatives.
Fog computing (also known as edge computing) is an increasingly popular term when discussing computing options. The term was coined by Ginny Nicholas, a product manager at Cisco. Unlike cloud computing, data is collected and stored in a local device. The goal of fogging is to improve efficiency and reduce the amount of data transported to the cloud for storage, analyzing, and storage.
Fog computing is not supposed to replace cloud processing, but works as more of a complementary tool. Edge devices do not currently have the capabilities to perform advanced machine learning and analytics because they do not have the computing power or storage. The real time analytics and local processing make it a great short term analytical tool.
How Voice Automation is Shaping Our Future
As smart devices and voice automation are becoming more well-known, it is a real possibility that screens and user interfaces will be embedded to everyday devices. The interfaces will not be controlled with just voices, but also gestures, facial expressions, and brain activity.
More and more devices will have the potential to help with more domestic tasks around the house. Household chores like cleaning gutters, composing shopping lists, and looking after children and pets are tasks that domestic robots are already performing.
Strides are also being made in adaptive and assistive technology for consumers with disabilities. Devices using A.I., ‘exoskeletons,’ or even robot caregivers are offering people more freedom than ever before.
Voice is a constantly evolving technology, especially given that the adoption of smart home speakers and devices is growing rapidly. Advancements in deep learning and data processing continue to make text-to-speech sound more human like. It is likely that we will continue seeing voice embedded in more and more everyday devices.
Related technology developments will also help ease consumer’s usability concerns. Localized processing to protect user data from the cloud will go a long way in facilitating mass adoption. These predictions are all based on what we know. What is more exciting to think about are the developments that are coming that, at this point, we are not even able to consider.
This article was written by Saina at Josh.ai, where she works on the business development team. She received her BS in Mass Communication from St Cloud State University in Central Minnesota. When she is not working, she is traveling, looking for new thrills and experiences. She also loves live music / dancing, frolicking all over town, and going to museums.