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Author's profile photo Robert Thibodeaux

Conversational IoT is going to have people talking

We all know all about sensors as the main purveyors of data for the internet of things. Mark Osborn posted an excellent article on “IoT, Digital Transformation, and the Consumer Experience.”

After reading that, the next question is, now what? Once we found a way to store and process the information in real time, how can we access all this information?

Classic reporting and analytics are great tools but what is the next step and where should we be looking.

The answer is not to look but to listen – or more precisely, get that information to listen.

Welcome to the new world of “Conversational IoT” (voice activated IoT.)

The next phase of the connected business brings together voice and IoT to help connect anything to your business.

I often talk to my computer – “Where did I save that file?” “Why won’t you connect?” but until recently it did not answer.

Now with common technology platforms, we are starting to see conversational computing. With some simple interfaces between voice platforms and HANA, I am now able to do analytics in real time, using my voice.

So why use voice – there are three main reasons:

First, it is intuitive for everyone. Our first interactions are by voice. You learn to talk before you learn to write. We are used to asking questions during our day and it is a comfortable habit. The big advances in computing have always focused on interfaces. The original computers had a text-based interface. The next innovation was the Graphical User Interface. That was replaced by the Web GUI and more recently by the touch-based GIU. Now we are moving into a new generation, the conversational GUI.

Second, it is faster. Some still use their cell phones to hold conversations. For newer users, communication is mainly accomplished by text. In addition to cultural and generational differences, it is more convenient and does not require a real-time, one-to-one commitment.  The drawback to texting is speed; it is much faster to speak than to type. A recent Stanford study found that speech recognition was three times faster than typing. Moreover, not just for younger users, those numbers were across ages 19-32.

Finally, it is more accurate. From that same study, error rates were 20% to 60% lower than texting, depending on the language. Speaking of language, conversational interfaces bring along the added benefit of translation.  While first generation consumer speech interfaces focused on English, we are starting to see more languages. English and Mandarin were part of the Stanford study.

Continuous improvements, driven by the consumerization of the conversational GUI, will benefit the enterprise application. Conversational GUI brings along other added benefits – security for instance, as the biometric information in the voice allows another layer of authentication for access.

While these technologies are just now starting to see more wide spread application, expect to see and hear more about them in the near future.

Conversational IoT is going to have people talking.

Want to learn more about Conversational IoT and how other new technologies are influencing CP?

Attend the Best Practices for Consumer Products 2016.

To learn more about specific sessions and topics to be showcased and to check out the Conference Agenda. Be sure to register

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