Remember the mobile-app explosion that changed the tech landscape around 10 years ago? According to a feature article in February PM Network®, a similar mad rush is now occurring in the emerging world of voice-assistant technology.
Here are some numbers: In 2018, more than 5 billion consumer devices made use of some type of voice-driven digital assistant. Use of this technology is growing: 61 percent of adults ages 25 to 64 anticipate using these devices more in the future than they have in the past.
Driving the race to bring voice-aware speakers into every smartphone, vehicle and kitchen are Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Home. Picture these major brands as blank canvasses for third parties eager to develop voice-controlled apps, tools and features. For example, the number of “skills” built for Alexa surpassed 50,000 toward the end of 2018, double the number from the beginning of the year.
Just like when mobile apps became a force, a lot of experimentation and education is needed before best practices become standardized. Companies now have to design for devices that don’t include screens and rely more on conversational forms of interaction. Often, the first step for voice-assistant projects often is educating the sponsor on the best ways to use voice technology. The next step frequently is writing a series of conversation scenarios which are submitted for client approval. Project timelines are generally shorter than those using screen interactions.
Project managers need to pay close attention to privacy concerns. Surveys show a leading sentiment among potential users unwilling to embrace voice assistants is privacy. Some small developers are waiting for security recommendations to be made by the major platform providers.
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