Voice space fragmentation

The rumours/news of Facebook Messenger’s and Instagram voice input features plus Samsung Bixby announcement got me thinking about how quickly the voice space is diversifying. Currently at our company we are working with applications for Alexa, Google Home, a chatbot and we started experimenting with Bixby after being invited to develop capsules. And the only reason we are not trying Baidu DuerOS is because the documentation is in Chinese and my French doesn’t get that far away. What I’m saying is we had for the time that Windows phone 3 smartphones but mainly 2 smartphones platforms to care about, for voice technologies, the number of devices and smart assistants is only growing.

Who has the developers?

So far, Amazon Alexa commands the biggest number of developers and voice application creators. I don’t see that changing for a while even if the shipment numbers move around over the end of the year sales. The work Amazon’s evangelists team is doing plays an important role in this, no other company is investing as many resources in listening, educating and providing resources for skills developers. At the same time, the more creators of applications, more skills and more user engagement.
When Bixby announced their smart assistant, the first thing that came to my mind and I commented is I just want to see how much developer attention they can get to develop their first capsules (Samsung calls their assistant applications capsules). If you think about it Cortana partnering with Alexa, is genius in that way, they will be leveraging the environment that Alexa developers already have. I’m not saying the number of smart assistants and devices to build for will be a major problem, because we have tools like conversation.one, dialog flow, voice app and frameworks like Jovo, that allow you to develop for multiple platforms, and most likely they will continue to add support for new platforms as they come along. However, I do not see a future is us building skill versions for 5 voice assistants in 5 different English locales, let alone any other language you might want to support.

The voice platform space is different is fundamental ways

Thinking about the huge impact the iPhone had, they also had a huge advantage with the App Store when it launched, it was a breakthrough, no other platform like it existed. Voice technology adoption is going to be fundamentally different than what we have seen until now with websites and mobile apps, because the circumstances are different in terms of building, promoting and usage. I’m betting whoever picks the most apps developers is going to be the platform that rule all the others.

Voice is the platform for creatives, but not yet

I have said before this is the platform for creatives, but creatives are not the first to come to build, I had a call last week with a musician interested in voice tech and he was asking for advice on how to make his friends to understand that voice is a platform they need to be in. The early adopters are the developers, not the creatives. Essentially, developers focus and attention in one platform or the other is the ultimate trade for the future of voice applications in a fragmented space.

Let’s keep the conversation on Twitter and Instagram

Our Twitter handle is voicefirstlabs and we are voicefirstweekly in Instagram, shut us a comment there to let me know what you think or anything else really, I love to interact about this space. My name is Mari, I’m will talk to you tomorrow.

About the Author voicefirstlabs

The ultimate resource in the voice space. Conversational interfaces, voice interfaces, smart speakers and smart assistants, voice strategy, audio branding.

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