Summary of the responses to the 2019 predictions survey

Predictions Summary
by Carl Robinson

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I found the responses to the recent reader survey, 2019 Predictions From 35 Voice Industry Leaders, to be an extremely valuable insight into what’s up ahead. If you haven’t already read it, I encourage you to do so. And well done to Bret and his team for compiling this.

There was so much good stuff in there that while reading it I took notes, condensing my understanding into the bullet points below. I thought I’d may as well publish it as you might find it handy as a reference.

2019 voice technology predictions and trends

  • Multi-modal
  • Implicit invocation – race to get to position 1, less app based thinking as apps discoverability is low.
  • Alexa Mobile Accessories Kit (AMAK) – OEMs integrate Alexa into hearables, Google to copy with their SDK
  • NLU improvement e.g. compound requests
  • Context-aware computing – greater context via sensors
  • More personalised experiences
  • Biometrics for voice identification / authentication
  • Low latency responses of <1 second>
  • Better hand off from voice to non-voice devices
  • Devices with mobile hotspot on board for always on connectivity
  • Emotion and mood sensing
  • China to become new AI leader, led by Baidu and Alibaba
  • A major hack or data breach is inevitable
  • Open-source solutions that enable access to wall gardened systems

2019 voice market and product predictions

  • Winter is coming – a trough is likely given the recent hype and inflated expectations.
  • Smart speaker sales will peak, then 2020+ will see more integration projects than smart speaker ones
  • Major international traffic coming from introduction of smart speaker, but trivial use cases
  • More non-english content/apps
  • More new and diversified product ideas on the market
  • Voice appearing in all types of products – assistants becoming integrated into your environment
  • Monetisation will happen properly
  • OEMs will prioritise customised solutions, privacy, and brand protection. They will prefer user-case focused assistants with better accuracy (trained on tailored corpora)
  • More voice-philosophers appearing..
  • The first viral voice experience will happen
  • Politics will embrace voice for election campaigning
  • The first pure-play voice-first unicorn will emerge
  • Apple will make a big move e.g. letting 3rd parties develop for Siri
  • Apple won’t make a big move
  • Voice assistants will start to capture important actions and decisions in the workplace. They will impact workflow without having to record or store a transcript, allowing conversations to remain ephemeral (the way people like it).
  • Soundhound and Mycroft solutions will offer maximum control to platform users, but they will be too small to serve the entire market (which is a shame).
  • Microsoft will white-label Cortana for enterprise, offering privacy, user access, and data gathering… Google/Alexa remain consumer focused

How the enterprise and brands will feel about voice in 2019

  • Awareness will grow and they will start taking it seriously
  • Will use for customer experience (CX) and product Q&A, and incorporate voice into their CX strategy
  • Showing ROI is currently hard, given consumer adoption, support and retention
  • All the major automotive manufacturers will include voice in cars
  • The hospitality industry will be huge for voice
  • Voice will let brands have closer contact with their customers, through self-service experiences
  • Greater demand for privacy and security

My predictions for 2019

Here’s my submission to the survey in full:

“2019 will see greater demand for voice technologies that enhance privacy and security, driven by accelerating enterprise adoption of voice assistants and increased consumer awareness. These include open source libraries, edge computing, blockchain and even whisper technology. We’ll also see products that squeeze voice data for more and more information, including voice emotion analytics, audio event classification, speaker identification, and greater contextual awareness by correlating multi-modal inputs.”
– Carl Robinson, Host of the Voice Tech Podcast

Hope that helps! I’d love to hear what you think – tweet me @VoiceTechCarl or leave a comment below.

About the author

Carl Robinson
Carl Robinson

Carl is the host of the Voice Tech Podcast. Since launching in April 2018, Carl has conducted scores of in-depth interviews with voice industry experts, building one of the most well known media brands in the voice AI space.

He also publishes Voice Chops Tuesday, the number 1 voice technology newsletter, enjoyed by thousands of voice tech fans each week.

Carl is a startup founder, product manager and data scientist, and recently presented a model for voice emotion conversion at ICASSP 2019.

To contact Carl, use the links in this box to send an email, tweet or message.

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