Voice control and voice-activated devices are rapidly becoming an integral part of our daily lives. Technology like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa has become so ingrained in our lives that we often overlook them and take them for granted. We’re used to using voice controls. But is the event industry ready for the revolution invoice? I predict it will soon be able to completely transform the experience for attendees.
According to eMarketer, 35.6 million Americans will use a voice-activated assistant device at minimum once per month in 2017. This is an increase of 130% from the previous year. eMarketer predicts that Amazon will soon dominate this space, but investors are increasingly expecting that things will change quickly. It is currently a two-way fight between Amazon and Google, with Apple and Microsoft not in the picture.
Consumers will expect more technology in the future as they become more comfortable with voice-controlled personal assistants. People will expect this technology to be used in other areas, as they become more comfortable and accepted with it. Apps for event management will be a natural extension of this rising expectation. Voice controls are a helpful tool in an evolving technology landscape. It can be both beneficial for those who embrace it and devastating for those who don’t.
Voice applications in the event industry
Register for an event and check-in
The wait times for check-in have been drastically reduced thanks to the rapid advancements in event check-in technology. Near Field Communication, along with other onsite check-in solutions, has transformed how attendees check-in for events. The future check-in system will be voice-based and automated. This solution will identify attendees by their voice, reducing the check-in time and reducing wait times.
Voice-controlled apps powered by AI have become very common in both homes and smartphones. Information retrieval through asking questions will become more popular as people become more dependent upon this technology. One example of event apps would allow registrants to search for sessions by asking, “Where is the next session?”
Voice-controlled vending machines
Vending machines that can be controlled by voice have been around for some time. Robot vendors will likely be more prevalent at events, offering their services to attendees. Although many people still prefer to have a human vendor at events, those with tight schedules may choose robot vendors to cut down on time.
Feedback from vocal events
Voice control devices can be used in both directions. It allows attendees to receive helpful information and also give feedback using their own voices. The way attendees receive feedback is going to be drastically changed by the combination of real-time emotional track and mixed with real-time emotion tracking.
Common roadblocks to overcome before this becomes a reality.
Voice control devices are promising in improving the attendee experience, but there’s still much to be done. Security and reliability are still concerns. Accessing data by simply mimicking the voice or words of others is a significant security risk. This problem will be addressed as security improves, but for the moment, dual-factor authentication will reign supreme.
The reliability of voice control is another issue. Is it possible that Siri or Cortana misunderstands something you say? This is common for people with strong accents. If the assistant’s voice misunderstands an accent, it can cause problems. Voice control is a great way to enhance the user experience. However, it takes just one misunderstood word for information to be inaccessible. Those are the times when search boxes and menus come in handy.
As voice-controlled devices become more popular, attendees will have higher expectations. It is impossible to predict whether voice control will become the standard interface. It is sure to change the face of events.