Opportunities Abound for a Voice-Powered IoT

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Voice is especially well suited to a range of Internet of Things (IoT) applications and has a role to play across a variety of vertical markets, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.

In its report, “From Alexa to Industry: Opportunities for a Voice-Powered Internet of Things (IoT),” the firm points out that “with proper implementation mindful of relevance, costs, and human factors, voice can provide a more flexible user experience than traditional input methods.”

The research also identified a number of reasons that voice is relevant in the Internet of Things, including the following:

  • speech is a natural mode of communication for humans;
  • speech permits interaction when hands and eyes are occupied; and
  • biometric security options can be expanded through the unique properties of the human voice.

The application of voice in the IoT spans a variety of vertical markets, from consumer to industrial to healthcare, while the business use cases include improved customer service and more efficient operational processes, according to the research.

“The focus of IoT is very much on data, but as technologies such as natural language processing and speech-to-text continue to improve, the ability to include and integrate voice into IoT applications provides a versatile method to utilize human interaction,” concluded Andrew Brown, executive director of Strategy Analytics and author of the report, in a statement. “Indeed, the recent acquisition of Shazam by Apple highlights the importance of voice and sound recognition in AI.”

Apple acquired Shazam, the popular music recognition service that can identify the name and lyrics of songs, music videos, TV shows, and more, in December for an undisclosed amount. The speech-enabled service has reportedly been used by hundreds of millions of people around the world.

“Voice can be used to communicate and to control, and with proper consideration of fitness for purpose, it can result in a more natural experience for the user. In some cases, voice presents a vital hands-free experience for users, an extra layer of security, and even lower build costs than expensive touchscreen panels,” added Matt Wilkins, a senior analyst at Strategy Analytics and coauthor of the report, in a statement.

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