Speak of the voice AI market and you are talking about an area that is growing in both reach and innovation. Voice-based artificial intelligence devices are present in all aspects of our lives. Think of your smartphone voice assistant or a smart speaker device. In fact, the addressable market for AI sound recognition technologies is estimated to be worth $1.2 billion by 2021. An IDC research, pegs smart speakers, connected cars and other smart home devices as representing a huge opportunity in the coming years.
When it comes to the future of voice, cutting-edge products need to work at the cusp of technology and anthropology to deliver value. IDG Research once again shows that what customers are looking for are devices that offer them “ peace of mind” and perform certain tasks for them. Artificial Intelligence, therefore, automatically emerges as the engine that can make it happen, as it ensures that the device acts intelligently on behalf of the user.
Take the example of a headset. It is fairly important that it recognizes the environment in which they operate. This is especially true as the user can be going through a noisy commute before he reaches the calm environs of his home or office, headsets in place. It is of great value for the listener, therefore, to have technology at his disposal that can adjust the audio to the surrounding milieu, as it will ensure a hassle-free experience.
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With the use of active noise cancellation technology as well as microphone fed external sounds, the listening experience can be made to respond to the external environment. Clearly, being able to control the surrounding noise is only the beginning of smart audio or smart sound technology
Voice-assisted software promises further benefits for hearables. With headphones supporting voice-assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and more, convenience got a whole new name. Little surprise then, that a Juniper research has reported that the use of voice assistants is expected to triple by 2023. Creating technology that supports a voice-first environment, is therefore key. In fact, going forward, voice-based AI would become even more sophisticated to handle challenges such as differing accents. Voice assistants will also increasingly offer individualized experiences as their ability to differentiate between voices gets better. In turn, that allows customization of features for individual users.
The added advantage with complex AI processing is that it isn’t really impacted by the size of the device. It is therefore possible for voice AI to also operate fully on-device. In turn, this opens up a number of new use cases. Think of audio intelligent devices that can operate in extreme conditions such as in space or the deep sea.
Clearly this is only the beginning of voice technology as we will see major advancements in the user interface in the years to come. In fact, both AI and 5G will enable a fascinating technology landscape ahead. When we speak of AI sound, what is slated to grow is both voice-assisted software on the one hand and AI for audio hardware on the other.