When’s the last time you felt absolute glee the first time you used a product?
I got that feeling when I used my first Amazon Echo Dot that I won in a game of Salesforce Jeopardy at a networking mixer. Before I had used one, I thought they were totally unnecessary, like why would you pay money for a little speaker. What difference does voice make?
To my surprise, it was so much more awesome than I thought.
For the first time in my life, I felt like Tony Stark talking to Jarvis. Every morning, I had an alarm clock that would stop when I told it to. I would start my morning shower playlist hands-free and if I wanted to change songs, I didn’t have to get out of the shower. I could even request weather and a daily briefing of news instantly while I was putting on clothes. And it was all intuitive for me to use.
The Amazon Echo Dot, at $40, is proof that the future of voice-controlled AI can be affordable to the average person.
But Alexa as an AI is going to be so much more than she is now.
In the next decade, nearly anyone in the United States will have access to an affordable voice-controlled assistant that will save them time, entertain them, and allow them to live their lives more fully.
I believe that voice-tech is in a relatively infant state and that it will get so much smarter in the future. Right now, it’s only one-directional response (Alexa only responds to you) but once she can recognize presence or voice differentiation, she’ll be able to initiate conversation as well.
Maybe she’ll be able to pair with your CRM and alert you when it’s time to call your contacts.
Maybe she’ll know when it’s your birthday and call all of your close friends to send a pre-recorded Happy Birthday message to play when you wake up.
There’s so much possibility.
And when voice-tech becomes wearable and easily spoken into (Apple’s Siri doesn’t cut it for me), we’ll reach that next level of usability.