"The ultimate promise of technology is to make us master of a world that we command by the push of a button."
Computer technology was really sold to us as a way to make our lives easier. In many ways this is true. But in many other ways, it has also made the world far more complicated than it ever really needed to be. An app for this or an app for that. For everything else, it’s a sign-up or login page with a few clicks and form submissions in between.
Consider the scenario of wanting to buy 2 movie tickets online. To do this you might take the following steps:
The entire exercise could easily take between 3-5 minutes end to end. The problem with that exercise is just too long. Okay so maybe 3-5 minutes doesn’t seem that long but really it is. Especially if the technology exists that could literally slash the time by a fifth. I mean you wouldn’t cook a pizza pocket in the oven for 30-minutes if you could get the same result in a microwave in just under 3. It’s pointless and it's redundant. Tools like Google Home & Alexa really make it possible to shortcut traditional online services. You could literally wrap up a 5-minute exercise in roughly 30-60 seconds and it can all be done without havening to lift a finger.
Here's an example use case:
Great question! Let’s take Google Home integration example below. Every engagement is initiated with a conversation. So the user might say something like “Hey Google.. Talk to My City Bank”. At this point, the application will recognize who you are and will respond with a greeting message and list of commands a user can provide. The user might then ask the question “What’s the balance of my savings account?”. The assistant will then recognize that the user wants to know the balance or their savings account. From here the application will do the following:
The great thing about the model above is it’s flexible and trainable too. So for instance: Let's say the user has a different way of asking what his or her balance is. It could be something like “tell me my saving account balance” or “how much money do I have in my savings account”. This flexibility is made possible by DialogFlow’s fantastic Machine Learning and training bot which will learn and help you customise your app.
Where to from here?
In short: if you aren’t already in the process of extending your current list of services to voice-assisted apps, you really should be. Tech experts like Ben Wood from CSS Insight have predicted that voice-based applications will overtake traditional text applications by 2020. Now is a good time to at least start looking at how you might apply voice assisted technologies to your business.
If you’d like further information or advice on voice-assisted applications you can click here to reach me.