Friday, July 07, 2017

Is Voice Recognition actually gaining traction with users?

Hot on the heels of Amazon's Echo are Google Home, JD's DingDong and now Alibaba is getting into the voice recognition game with Tmall Genie X1. This week Alibaba announced its first foray into this competitive space with a one-month trial to 1000 users, demonstrating commitment to maintain its ‘Goliath’ position in the Asian digital market.

Although, Alibaba is late to the party on this hardware launch and important trend of voice recognition, it is already thinking about how it will integrate the latest developments of its competitors. One key evolution is in the biggest ROI driver for these tech companies — shopping. The path to purchase a product is a dream come true for most manufacturers on a digital assistant with voice recognition. It collapses a process that typically involves online research and physical shop time (at a minimum) to just a few spoken words for the reorder to be placed. However, it is not always a dream come true for users. Many have vocalized frustration with browsing ability via voice. Cue Amazon’s launch of Echo Show (touchscreen-enabled) and Echo Look (camera-enabled) to supplement the browsing process. Alibaba is now being pressured to consider how to integrate visual navigation techniques into its product, to avoid it being pigeon-holed into a reorder-only software as well. 

Another key update in the realm of voice recognition technology is the achievement of the 95% accuracy threshold. Many digital experts, as cited by Kleiner Perkins Partner and Digital Guru Mary Meeker, have predicted that this accuracy threshold will be the impetus for broad consumer adoption to take place. While Smart Phones will be the entry point for many users, it will still aid in the growth of digital assistants like Amazon’s Echo and others. 

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