Don't text when you can talk

21st January 2019
Don't text when you can talk
Amazon Echo Input turns any music speaker into an Alexa-ready device

2019  is poised to be a breakout year for Voice, as smart assistants increasingly  embed themselves in  our homes.
By Anand Parthasarathy
Bangalore, January 21 2019: In mid 2018, at the Google I/O conference, in the  US, CEO Sundar Pichai gave a sneak preview  of a new product called Duplex, that was an amazing  -- if scary -- vision of the future.  In successive live demos,  Google  Voice Assistant, powered by Duplex,  called up a beauty salon and a  restaurant to make a reservation. Not just dialing a number,  but  carrying out an actual conversation with a human  at the other end.  The voice reacted in real time  to the different options and made a choice on behalf of its user, that  demanded dynamic, near-human choices.  The person at the receiving end had no clue,  he or she was talking to a Voice Assistant. (To hear the actual  conversations,  checkout a 4-minute YouTube video titled "Google Duplex: A.I. Assistant Calls Local Businesses".  For a few days we also carry it in our vtech video spot on our home page )
Google Duplex which is rolling out in  select  cities in  the US,   is touted as the missing link between  a voice assistant and any business. You  want to know if a particular item is in stock  at your neighborhood store? Today's Google Assistant  will  help you with the telephone number of the  store.  You have to  make the call. Tomorrow's Google Assistant, powered by Duplex,  will  phone up and find out, entering into a  lengthy dialogue with the shop owner if required.|
Apple was  the first to  make voice search mainstream in 2011  when it launched Siri on the iPhone 4S. Since then Google's  Assistant,  Microsoft's Cortana , Amazon's Alexa and latterly,  Samsung's Bixby, have given us a choice:  talk,  instead of typing our query.   From smart homes to smart phones, a compelling case for  Voice is being made.  Already,  one in five Android searches  from portable devices, are spoken -- and most of these are from car drivers, where  texting is not an  option.    And multiple analysts concur:  by 2020, one in two searches will be through voice.
For recent  smart assistant products in India including Amazon Echo Input and Milagrow IoT Alexa  see Image of the Day