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VoiceBrew’s Daniel Hill Shares What’s Hot in Voice Tech

As the Community Manager for VoiceBrew, a newsletter that provides daily tips for Alexa and Google Assistant users, Daniel Hill knows a thing or two about what’s hot in the voice tech industry.

Daniel joined us for the August 2021 episode of VOICE Talks to share his insights into the top trends and his predictions for future trends in voice.

Top Three Future Trends

So what is in store for the future of voice? According to Daniel, they are:

3. Greater Personalization

People want to personalize their devices according to their preferences. They want to determine how their smart speaker works and how it interacts and integrates with their other devices. As voice tech grows, it will provide users with expanded opportunities for personalization.

2. Custom "Wake Words"

Somewhat tied to personalization is the ability to use custom "wake words." People can have different reasons to choose other wake words. Perhaps one family member's name is similar to the device's default wake word, and they want the ability to use something else.

1. Full Day Audio Experiences

Audio handoff features will be a significant driver for voice tech moving forward. Users want to be able to continue to have the same audio experiences they have at home wherever they are and over whichever device is available - whether they own them or not.

ICYMI: Top Five Trends in Voice

If you missed the episode or our earlier recap, here are Daniel’s top five trends in voice:

5. Using Voice Systems in Your Car

As COVID restrictions are eased, and people start to travel more, they are spending more time in the car. So naturally, more and more people are using their voice assistant to start their car, turn the heater or the air conditioning on, etc.

4. Using Routines to turn Devices On and Off

More and more people are using routines (a voice-activated set of commands) to control appliances in their homes for cost savings. For example, it doesn't really make sense to leave the air conditioning running when you're not home. But maybe you want it to kick on 30 minutes before you arrive so that when you do, it's nice and cool. That can be achieved with routines.

3. Purchasing Devices

Despite COVID measures being eased, people are still traveling less and spending more time at home. Rather than invest in vacations or trips, the trend has prompted many to invest in and upgrade to new appliances or devices instead. While they may not specifically be looking for voice-enabled devices, there is the expectation that voice-enabled capabilities be built-in. And they expect to be able to connect their new appliances to their WiFi network and have the ability to control them using voice commands.

2. Continuing Audio Experiences

People want to continue their audio experiences while moving from place to place and device to device. Someone wakes up in the morning and starts listening to a podcast on their smart speaker. Then, they get in the car to drive to work and expect that experience to continue in the car. They then go for a walk during lunch and want the experience to continue in their earbuds. Then back into the car to drive home, on the smart speaker again. This immersive experience is possible today.

1. Buying Voice Devices as Gifts

The number one trend that we see with voice tech today is people purchasing voice devices as gifts for others. As restrictions start to ease and people revisit family and friends, we find that voice-enabled tech is among the most popular gifts people are giving one another these days, which can only be good for the industry and its growth.

Daniel then goes into the top three most popular voice commands being used today.

Most Popular Commands

Wondering what people are asking their assistants the most? According to Daniel, the most popular commands these days are focused on.

3. Remembering Where You Parked.

You can tell your voice assistant to remember where you parked your car so that you don't need to worry about remembering it yourself and instead just focus on what you set out to do.

2. In-car Experiences

As people start to travel more, they inevitably spend more time in their cars, going on road trips, family vacations, etc. Playing a game, like a song quiz, while traveling not only gets everyone in the vehicle involved but also makes the travel time go by much faster.

1. Teaching Assistants to Say Users' Names Correctly

If you have a difficult name to pronounce, you don't want your voice assistant pronouncing it wrong. In setting up their smart assistant, there are commands that people can use to teach it to pronounce their names correctly.

And finally, Daniel shares what his expertise tells him will be the top three future trends in voice tech.

Subscribe to VOICE Talks for industry updates, access to special offers, exclusive content, and sneak peeks at upcoming episodes. Tune into the next VOICE Talks live September 30 at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT. You can view previous episodes on the VOICE Talks Youtube channel.

In addition to his Community Manager role at VoiceBrew, Daniel is also a Product Manager focused on the intersection of social and conversational technologies. He is currently working for the AARP Foundation, where he deployed social isolation assessments across multiple platforms to identify affected individuals and provide solutions to break isolation and decrease loneliness, among other initiatives.