With this advancement in the home, it is only natural that technology for smart offices is forging ahead, too. Companies have been working toward the concept of the frictionless office for years. The ability to talk to your computer or other devices has long been on our wish list for seamless communications.
But this flood of voice-enabled systems is not as new as you may think. Microsoft Exchange 2007, which was released in 2006, had voice control for its unified messaging product.
Users could access their mailbox by voice, triage emails, and send notifications to calendar invitation participants. They could say say "I'll be 10 minutes late," speed up the reading of emails, delete, or move to the next email. Voice control worked well providing users gave clear commands in a relatively noise-free room.
Voice assistants have evolved significantly over the last 10 years, and a plethora of voice assistants, with differing response abilities, are now available.
Earlier this year, cloud-based software platform Teem added voice command to meeting room management to allow people to book meeting rooms through voice control with Amazon Alexa. The system allows them to check into a meeting and extend a meeting on-demand.
Accurate voice detection, such as the four-mic solution from Conexant, will remove echoes and noise from the audio, enabling clear audio requests. Far-field processing technology will enable devices to track what is being said more accurately.
Google Home enabled shopping with its partners in March, completing the commercial component for consumers to order, pay for the transaction, and have the goods delivered.
With voice control becoming more and more important in consumers everyday lives, it does make sense that voice control extends its reach and becomes fully integrated in the office. Adding voice to mundane tasks will enable employees to be as productive as they can be by using a simple interface to manage their workflow and daily tasks.
Voice control will evolve to become ubiquitous in our working lives, just as making a call using voice in your car has become. Voice is poised to become the enabler that helps users better interact with people, places, and technology.
User adoption of the technology will be the final, greatest hurdle.