Flash briefing 53 – It’s not voice only

It seems that it needs to be said and repeated. I have listened or other people have commented recently about the need to call it voice ‘and’. In one of the talks at Voice Summit about voice search, Dustin Coates mentioned the distinction between voice added vs voice-first vs voice-only. And I think that’s fine and even interesting, especially since they are working on voice search. But what I have a concern, it’s about those that believe that voice-first is voice only. When we say voice-first, here at voicefirst weekly and voicefirst labs, what we mean is the first step in an user interaction with machines. It means voice is the initiator. If later that interaction continues with a screen, with camera lenses like Snapchat just released, with your email or continue to be just voice only it’s a different story. The point is voice-first is not about the whole conversational journey, it’s about the beginning of that conversation, how the communication between human – machine is established. I’m no one to judge you if you already have a whole model built around voice only, but understand, this technology is about integration, where every sense come together (ok smell, i’m sure you’ll come in soon enough). Voice first is about multi-modal, you start with voice and might continue with screen, your phone, your car console. And it’s also multi-device. So for me, this is what voice first means and I don’t think that voiceand will catch up a lot, we may end up with other terms for it. This whole thing reminds me of what Chris Geison mentioned that you should meet your users where they are. And they are all over the place, cars, in their homes, in their phones. So build for spreading your modalities and to be later present in different devices.
Thank you for listening!

P.D The same day this audio was published, Dustin Coates published an excellent article discussing his variations of voice first vs voice added vs voice only. I think it’s good that you have every perspective on the subject. My take is about the field in general and not about the different modalities in which you can deal with voice input and outputs. Enjoy the article, and leave us a comment!

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