VUI or Voice user interface is a type of user experience which allows people to interact and control their computers or similar devices through a voice input.
In every decade or so over the last fifty years, mankind has achieved new ways of computer interaction and has made continual advancement in technology. The discovery, creation, and modification of these advancements has shaped for us, what we call today, a modern way of living.
From GUI(graphical user interface), the origination of the internet, mobile phones and touchscreens, each has played a role in moulding a way of life that is better than before.
And guess what?
We have a new contender for the next big technological advancement that could make life even more easy.
The innate ability of almost every human to communicate with each other.
What can VUI do?
Voice experiences existed at the time of mobile phones in the form of customer service. But, the developments in recent years have given us a glimpse of its true potential. Tech giants like Amazon and Google have invested a lot in machine learning (AI) and speech-recognition software to make voice assistants like Alexa by Amazon, and Google assistant by Google.
The aim is simple, to make life simpler! Yes, even more than it already is.
From commanding with your voice to set simple reminders, playing songs or games that you like, leaving a message, turning on or off the lights in your house, searching & browsing online, shopping all the way to booking flight and hotel tickets and more, the possibilities are endless! The true experience of VUI will be achieved when a person has an ecosystem of connected devices on a compatible platform. This will basically enable you to control everything with voice in that particular ecosystem.
What is Supporting the Rise of VUI?
VUI is going to become the most prominent feature in the smartphone, computer, and other similar industries. All interactive devices of this generation such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones have excellent hardware, including voice input systems. There is no doubt that this helps the user with a better voice experience.
On top of that, artificial intelligence helps a computer device to learn and recognise speech patterns, context, preferences, and behaviour for personalised results. All these advancements are definitely playing a role in the rise of VUI, but the core driver for all this is not technology, but our voice itself. Remember the days when pressing a few buttons was the convenient option? It’s funny how it might soon become the inconvenient option.
What Does VUI Hold for Us in the Future?
As mentioned earlier, VUI might become the next most convenient thing about smartphones and smart devices. Everything that can possibly have useful features and increase productivity through voice will be integrated with it.
Different voice assistants
Imagine your refrigerator telling you about the food inside it, your smartwatch or fitness tracker reminding you to stay hydrated and your TV informing you that your favourite show which is just about to start. It will all be a reality very soon.
As an individual, VUI is proving to be a really tempting experience, but what about businesses and other brands. It has definitely prompted debate among entrepreneurs about the future of the service industry. Many software developers and enterprises are already learning and making plans to adapt and use VUI as part of their future business.
Ok, so VUI Is Great! But, Is It Perfect? Of Course Not! Here’s Why?
There is a famous saying,”If you can’t beat the competition, partner with them.” This can be used as a great reference for VUI. It is not a form of technology that is going to replace already existing tech, but rather a feature that will reach its full potential when used in collusion with the current tech such as GUI and the internet. It is appropriate to say that VUI is an interdependent tech discovery. Input with voice is easy, but the output may not always be so. Such cases occur when the result required has tonnes of information, which if recited aloud in audio format will be too long and not efficient in any way. In such cases, the results are better off being displayed on a screen. An example of this situation would be if you requested to search flights for a particular destination. It would be very time consuming to listen to an audio output of all the available flights, but a display would allow you to gleam the necessary information quickly. And, Amazon has already released devices such as the ‘Echo’ with a screen, named ‘Echo Show’ & ‘Echo Dot’ in some geographies. These devices definitely add more functionality and an overall better user experience.
Gary Vee is very bullish on voice. Check the quick 1 minute video below.
Now’s the Time to Jump on the Bandwagon
The ‘smart home’ sector seems to be a promising place for VUI where literally your whole house can be controlled by your voice. And of course, smart devices such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home and Nest will act as central hubs for this system. It wouldn’t be surprising to see other companies venturing in this market very soon.