On March 13th, developers, designers, and product managers from across Southwestern Ontario were invited to PSD’s head office in London Ontario to meet and exchange ideas and innovations related to voice products and tools. Voice Tech TO events have been taking place for quite some time, but the London-based event was the first to occur outside of Toronto.
From voice-activated assistants, like Google Home and Amazon Echo, to complex applications in AI and machine-learning, voice tech has the potential to significantly transform the way we interact with technology in our daily lives. Voice tech can create new efficiencies in business and enhance our favourite mobile apps, but it also has the potential to raise security and privacy concerns.
Polina Cherkashyna and Guy Tonye, organizers from Voice Tech Global, kicked off the London meetup by describing their mission: to foster a community of voice-first makers and entrepreneurs, help knowledge sharing, skill building, and successful voice-first product development. They shared stories of innovation in voice tech, like the start-up Lyrebird who has created a platform that allows users to create their own vocal avatars. Instead of hearing Alexa or other common voice assistants, you can record your own voice and use it wherever you want.
Polina Cherkashyna from Voice Tech Global
PSD’s Eugene Kim, Mobile Application Developer, spoke to the meetup attendees about trends in voice tech. According to Gartner, 30% of internet searches will be carried out without a screen by the year 2020. Within the typical home, 58% of voice usage involves the smartphone, followed by 22% with a smart speaker, 11% with a desktop or laptop, 7% with a television, and 7% with a smartwatch (voicebot.ai). PSD, as a leader in mobile technology related to infrastructure maintenance, sees the incredible potential to apply voice tech in the field of public works and engineering. Any industry or practice that requires hands-free capabilities for either great efficiency or safety will benefit from voice tech. Consider healthcare, where doctors and nurses can update records and communicate without touching services, therefore decreasing risks of contamination. In municipal operations, public works teams are out in the field repairing infrastructure and maintaining assets on a daily basis – being able to record the maintenance activities being performed in real-time, hands-free, could be a game-changer.
Next, Polina and Guy are planning to bring Voice Tech events to other cities across North America. Learn more at www.voicetechglobal.com.