Voice is taking an increasing role in how people interact with data. We use voice to update our appointments, start exercise routines, change the song playing, buy groceries, and (if you’re talented) control the lights in the house. Basically, almost any interaction done on can have a voice element included somewhere.
Adding Voice to any ecommerce or scheduling application greatly increases conversion and long-term loyalty
Smart Speakers such as Alexa or Google Home work by listening for trigger words “Alexa...” or “Hey Google…” then taking the words that follow, processing them into text, and then passing that text as keywords into their own respective search engines. Applications or websites can take advantage of this just as the same as typing a string of keywords would go directly to a product detail page or specific object in a list. In a normal browser, keywords take us to a page full of information, and we can then find the specific data point and then click to perform the subsequent action (add an item to our cart, look up a flight, etc.) The challenge with voice-initiated interaction is that Alexa or Google Home isn’t going to read us the entire contents of the landing page-- it will only respond with a short spoken sentence of the first thing it finds.
So, the challenge is to configure your application or data set to find the _specfic bit of information_ (e.g. when my flight leaves) or _distinct action_ (e.g. adding milk and orange juice to my curbside pickup) that can be done with a simple common-language voice command.
At a high level, there are several steps here:
To build this out, several bits of technology would come into play: the voice SDK from Alexa or Google Home to get the spoken words as text, preparing your app or website to accept at ac at a granular level, the AI text processing to correctly parse and “understand” the text, connect to all appropriate APIs at the inventory, order, or content data level, perform the action, then send messaging back to the smart speaker.
Interplay already has modules for all of these steps. We’ve connected voice commands to ecommerce purchases, FAQs, curbside pickups, and more. We’re expanding these capabilities into appointment scheduling, services, and deeper database lookups. If you would like to add voice to your apps, let us know-- it could be faster and easier than you think.