Lessons From Early Adopters of Voice

Best Voice-First Products In Healthcare, Finance and Automotive

You’ve read the headlines: voice is going to be big (and if you haven’t feel free to check our smart speaker analysis). Consumers will soon be surrounded by the technology and it could radically transform how they interact with the Internet and the spaces around them.

Google claims, for instance, a footprint of one billion devices powered by Google Assistant. Comscore -a digital audience measurement company- is forecasting that, by next year, 50 per cent of searches will be conducted by voice.

50 % of searches will be conducted by voice.

If you’re a chief digital officer, brand manager or product designer, you must be wondering: What does it mean for my business? How will my industry be impacted? Who could I learn from?

To help you answer these questions here is an overview of interesting voice applications from the three major industries, which are successfully adopting voice: healthcare, finance and automotive.

Fastest Growing Applications Of Voice

According to an analysis by Point Nine Capital, a Berlin-based venture capital firm, healthcare is far and away the leading sector to experiment with voice solutions followed equally by finance, ecommerce and manufacturing.

Voice Tech Application Breakdown By Industry (Point Nine Capital)

Point Nine notes the rise of telemedicine and U.S. public policy changes that encourage follow-up care to minimize readmission are likely contributing factors to the adoption of voice technology. In finance, the rapid end of in-person banking has pushed financial institutions to find new ways to maintain strong client relationships through engagement on multiple platforms in an effort to avoid growing customer churn rates.

Here are the most interesting voice applications that might offer lessons to business leaders across sectors.

Healthcare

At the Consumer Electronics Show this year, SameDay Security announced their virtual caregiver application Addison Care.The company already offers a suite of products for elderly care. But this ambition initiative integrating voice, 3D animated video, machine learning and more connected through multiple devices and technologies could very well become the gold standard of in-home care for our rapidly aging population.

A more modest, yet accessible, solution is available right now to owners of a Google Home or Amazon Alexa. Learning Interface for Senior Adults(LiSA) by Cuida Health takes a number of features like routines, reminders, local event calendar, and hands-free group messaging, and packages them in an application tailored to senior-aged users. This assistant application empowers seniors to continue living independently and helps keep them connected with others in their community encouraging its users to be social. Said customer Jim Kitzmiller of the Alexa skill:

Lisa is a wonderful companion for seniors. She makes sure I take my meds. She keeps me informed. And she keeps getting smarter all the time.

Marvee, a three-year old voice-first agency, has launched a number of voice applications geared at senior care. Inspired by its founder Heidi Culbertson’s personal experience with hands-free solutions to improve the quality of life of her aging mother, their studio has launched a small suite of applications in that vein.

Chair Workout — Sit and Stay Fit encourages seniors to be active. It offers three workouts for people with limited mobility which are meant to be done while seated. One reviewer said of the Chair Workout:

My Mom is in a nursing home and for Christmas she got Alexa. Setting this skill up in her morning routine will get her ahead of the game. She’s been bedridden a year because of her lower legs. The skill allows her to focus on just the areas she had good control over. The commands are simple, yet valuable. The skill includes a little humor, some motivation and I’m very happy with its performance. Thank you skill writer for this thoughtful, well executed skill.

Senior Moments is an entertainment skill offering a mix of jokes, facts and wisecracks about aging. One reviewing said of the skill

Great quotes. All ages can relate!

In the realm of patient care, KidsMD from Boston Children’s Hospital is an application geared at parents looking for general answers to common medical questions from a trusted source. While not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, its utility can potentially ease the burden on the ER or drop-in clinics through reduced visits.

Financial

Finance is an extremely competitive industry. Banks are facing disruption from both ends: on the one side, upstart digital-native banking alternatives crowding the market; on the other, rapidly changing consumer behaviour as people embrace digital and mobile banking for everything from day-to-day personal needs to trading stocks. Making innovation a bit more challenging is the public policy regulating what financial institutions can and cannot do with people’s personal data as it relates to their accounts.

Nevertheless, companies like PayPal, Amex, Capital One, and Fidelity have found ways to offer customers a way to interact through voice with their account information or the companies’ services. Of note, the Ally skill by Ally Financial Inc. The app allows customers the ability to review their account balance and recent account activity as well as transfer funds. Many customers are surprised by its usefulness. Customer Daniel writes in his review:

Didn’t realize that I would use this frequently. The balance function is very helpful, need not use my mobile anymore!

And reviewer Ross writes:

The entire setup process was a breeze. I never dreamt of using this so frequently. Great experience using the skill. Love it!

Automotive

It’s going to be a huge market and automakers have already rolled out the technology with some 2018/2019 models. Toyota introduced Alexa controls in select Toyota and Lexus models this past year. BMW is also working with Amazon and should be on the market shortly; they’ve also struck a R&D deal with IBM. Honda, Hyundai and GM are working on Android Auto solutions to offer Google Assistant. Additionally, players like Nuance are developing AI technology married with voice activated services such as Dragon Drive to power connected cars.

If 2018 was the year of the first movers, the next 12 months will provide us with the opportunity to observe the results of early adopters’ tests and learn how users engage with their applications. These insights should help brands like yourself understand ways to connect with your customers on voice-enabled platforms, and will help product designers like us further refine the types of high value voice solutions we build for clients.

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