One of the main use cases of voice tech is digital assistants. Digital assistants are run on various devices, from smart phones, to wearables. Smart speakers are the most wide-spread way to use digital assistants though. Nearly 127 million smart speakers are expected to get shipped on the global market in 2020 and China was forecast to account for nearly half of them. More than three billion digital voice assistants were in use as of 2019 and this number was expected to more than double over the course of the following four years. Asking a variety of questions and setting numerous commands, digital assistant consumers seemed to be best understood by Google Assistant.
Speech to text automated transcription has also become an essential part of many businesses, especially within the e-learning and the market research industry. Accuracy was with no doubt the leading factor influencing companies’ choice of speech to text service provider. However, accuracy was also the leading barrier to voice tech adoption among enterprises, followed by the issues brought about by different accents and dialects. Accuracy means more than just low word error rate (WER), it can also be affected by a number of factors, including background noise, correct formatting, timing of words and specific terminology. These factors are what makes accuracy difficult to achieve and therefore hindering voice tech adoption. Nevertheless, companies seem to be embracing voice-enabled technologies and to be benefiting from them, and the platforms for which the most American organizations were developing voice tech for were Alexa and Google Assistant.