Voice control, voice recognition, conversational assistant, intelligent assistant, smart bot, talk bot, voice bot, chatterbot, bot, interactive agent, conversational interface… So many different names to talk about voice technology. In short, voice technology makes it possible to interact with a computer thanks to an artificial intelligence system through a voice assistant. These assistants, also known by their brand names as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Samsung Bixby, Siri from Apple, or Cortana from Windows, have grown exponentially in recent years.
Which voice assistant to choose?
This is a question that is often asked and which we will try to answer. Each assistant has its specificity and compatible connected devices. However, to enjoy the richest experience possible, it is advisable to use one of the market leaders like Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Siri due to their high level of development.
1 – Google Assistant
Google Assistant is the best performer in speech recognition with a 93% comprehension level. Moreover, it has the best accessibility with 30 different languages available. Although it comes in 2nd position after Alexa with 3,500 compatible brands, the assistant is accessible on more than 1 billion Android devices and smartphones worldwide. Also, the exponential development of Google Actions applications makes it the favorite.
2 – Amazon Alexa
Amazon Alexa has the most compatible brands ahead of Google Assistant with 7,400 different brands. That’s around 100 million compatible devices. The assistant also has 17 different languages and a level of a comprehension rate of 80%. Despite its great compatibility with IoTs, Alexa is currently not available on Smartphones. Amazon remains the most popular for voice shopping and its large number of skills available.
3 – Apple Siri
Apple Siri comes in second in terms of voice recognition with 83% comprehension. Its 21 languages available and its voice control of accessibility for the handicap has earned it its place in the ranking of the best assistants. Although Apple is only compatible with 50 brands, the apple brand offers a rich development ecosystem with HomeKit. It has not been forgotten that Apple’s fleet also represents 500 million devices. However, Siri currently has few applications unlike the Skills of Alexa and Google Actions of Google Assistant.
How to speak to a voice assistant?
With his smartphone
Access your assistant by voice or by pressing the central button on your phone for a second to open the interface. In the interface, choose to write your request or to speak. You go out for lunch and do not know the neighborhood well, ask for example which Chinese restaurant is the closest? While walking with your headphones on, ask for my rock playlist.
With a speaker connected to the home
Using a speaker connected at home allows you to access any information by voice while having your hands free. You have just woken up, thanks to home automation, ask to turn on the coffee machine. To find out more about your schedule, ask what is my schedule today? In the kitchen, while you baking your apple pie with your hands full of flour, how many tablespoons of sugar should I add? In the living room, you want to watch a movie say play Netflix’s Stranger Things on my TV. You’re more of a cozy evening by the fireside, tell me a relaxed playlist.
With a screen connected to the home
The connected screen is an evolution of the speaker which incorporates a screen for enhanced vocal and visual responses. Don’t know how to go about cutting a mango, ask how to cut a mango? A Youtube tutorial video will then explain step by step the best method. If you have a connected device with a camera, for example, you can see who has just ringed the doorbell, very practical when you do not have a camera intercom. You leave the house and have home automation devices connected, say turn off the light and lower the thermostat.
With his video game console
Video game consoles are also starting to take an interest in voice. Indeed, with the evolution of technologies and in particular cloud gaming, it is becoming possible to use voice technology on new connected consoles. Until now, voice interaction was limited to turning the console on or off or choosing a game by voice command. For example, with the new Playstation Assist voice assistant on PS5, you can ask any game assistant. If you get lost in a level say Hey Playstation, show me the route to Blackrock. Looking for info on a game say Hey Playstation, give me Skyrim reviews. Voice assistants in the video game industry will provide a more immersive and interactive experience.
In the car
It is possible to enjoy all the accessibility to information and music in your car while keeping your hands free thanks to voice assistants. You can use the GPS function by voice to find your restaurant or nearby stores. Have your assistant read your messages by asking to read my messages and keep your eyes on the road. Put your favorite playlist or ask for the time of your work appointments. If your car’s on-board computer is not compatible with Android, don’t panic! Some accessories will allow you to connect your smartphone to your car speakers.
In front of the television
It has never been easier to choose a movie and change the channel on your television. Thanks to connected TVs like Android TV, for example, you just have to press the microphone button on your remote control and speak to say what you want to watch. If you are a fan of blockbusters, ask to show me the most popular movies of 2018. If you are not sure which movie to watch, tell me to give me some information on the Green Lantern movie. It is also possible to request any information even while you are watching a TV program like is it going to rain tonight?
With connected devices – Wearables
Wearable connected devices seem traditional at first glance but in fact, integrate a voice assistant. Indeed, it can be a connected watch, headphones, a necklace, and even clothes like jackets or pants. The wearable is the mobility assistant par excellence. You can access all the available commands of your voice assistant discreetly and at any time of the day with full mobility.
What is the impact of voice assistants on society?
The development of artificial intelligence in all sectors and areas of society has notably enabled the maturation of voice recognition, the real basis of voice technology. Also called the 4th industrial revolution, this technological development has grown exponentially in recent years.
Each sector has its use. Like any growing technology arriving on the market, that of voice technology will have many impacts in all areas of digital and organizational. Below are a few examples of sectoral transformations that will emerge over the next few years.
Voice assistants in numbers
It is estimated that by 2022, around 1 billion people will interact with a voice assistant while 30% of web browsing will be without screens by 2020 (Gartner). Also, the voice technology market which affects all sectors of the industry will evolve, going from $ 1.6 billion in 2015 to $ 15.8 billion in 2021 (Tractica study).
The voice assistant is no longer to present, 90% of Americans have already heard of it and 72% have already used it. (2018 PWC study). In France, 46% of French people have already used a voice assistant, ie 1 in 2 French people (Hadopi CSA study). As for users, about 65% are between 25 and 49 years old. (PWC / Médiamétrie study)
While in France, 95% of French people use the basic commands of a voice assistant, such as checking the weather forecast, finding information, and playing music. In the USA, its use is much more developed. The PWC study reveals that 1/3 of Americans have already ordered their take-out or done their shopping by the voice assistant. However, we note that only 3% have already bought clothes per assistant.
However, we note that only 10% of people in the United States are refractory to this technology. Among them, 38% are afraid of being listened to all the time. 28% fear for the security of their data. 21% find the price of Google Home or Amazon Echo too expensive and 17% do not see the usefulness (PWC 2018 study).