Speaking versus typing - Key Insights on the Voice landscape in Switzerland

Speaking versus typing

Key Insights on the Voice landscape in Switzerland

Marisa Tschopp
by Marisa Tschopp
on September 03, 2020
time to read: 8 minutes

Keypoints

Why it makes sense to experiment with Voice right now

  • Voice user interfaces are still considered a niche product
  • voice applications are on the rise and desired by customers
  • Pioneering work with voice is worthwhile and can be started without large financial resources
  • It is important to set the course for voice user interfaces now

Even though experts such as Karen Kaushansky have been designing human-computer conversations for over 20 years, it cannot yet be said that Voice has been fully accepted by Swiss customers. Research and development is still in its infancy and there are only a handful of experts in Switzerland who really know about the subject. The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences is doing pioneering work in this area with the first course in Switzerland on the subject of Voice User Interfaces. The Titanium Research Department was present both on the faculty and the student side. This article concludes the four-part Voice User Interface series and presents the main findings and places them in the context of the Swiss voice landscape.

The Voice First Barometer Switzerland is a representative survey conducted with over 1000 participants in Switzerland. It provides good insights into the Swiss voice landscape: How widespread is voice control and how much do the Swiss population like to speak with a device? Some insights from the survey:

The Voice First Barometer Switzerland is a good starting point for an intensive study of the characteristics of the Swiss voice user. Another important point is to understand what the current market looks like: Who is experimenting with voice? Who is researching the topic? Who is already offering solutions to their customers? Who builds voice user interfaces and which platforms are already available? These and other questions are answered by the Voice Map Switzerland. A must for anyone who wants to get to grips with the topic.

Voicemap Switzerland provides an overview of technologies, services, and research

One of the companies shown on the graphic is recapp. This company has taken up a very special challenge, namely to teach the Computers Walliserdeutsch (special Swiss dialect). The Swiss dialect, and to what extent this is decisive for the use of voice, still offers endless material for discussion. Perhaps the first good solutions will come sooner and/or differently than expected. What is certain, however, is that there will be a lot of movement on the Swiss market in the coming years. The world will not change fundamentally, but every entrepreneur must be aware that voice is a new touchpoint that needs to be integrated into the customer journey creatively, alongside the Internet and such.

Key-Learnings of the Course Voice User Interface Strategy

The continuing education course of the Lucerne Universities of Applied Sciences Voice User Interface Strategy, is the first course in Switzerland to deal with the topic in this intensity. It was important to bring international speakers aboard: From Google, who have been working on conversational design for 25 years, to Voice Architects from Germany, who in contrast to Switzerland, for example, already work very intensively with Alexa Skills. These are the key learnings from the pioneering course, in which the Research Department was involved both in teaching and as a participant:

Useful References to Deepen your Knowledge

If you want to stay up to date with Voice, the following references are recommended:

Learning & Informing:

International & Conferences:

People to follow:

Conclusion

Speaking instead of typing will be normal for many in a few years, although speaking and typing may be the more appropriate expression. Anyone who is now working on the subject of voice, setting the course, joining forces with others, is doing pioneering work. You must be aware of that. This means that the return on investment will certainly be a long time coming, projects will be launched and may get lost again in the archive. But pioneering work is never sunk costs, even if it is a (calculable) investment. The learning effects are available on different levels: Be it the understanding of one’s own data structures, to understand the needs of customers better, new or even at all. If you experiment with voice, you learn the opportunities and limits of a technology not only from books or from conferences, but by getting your hands dirty and developing a voice experience. For us as a research department, it is clear that we deal with these topics and experiment with them, develop Alexa skills and Google Actions to understand them and be ready for what is coming to us and our customers.

Notes on the Voice User Interface Strategy series

We thank the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences for the pleasant cooperation and for the opportunity to be part of the pioneer class of the advanced training course Voice User Interface Strategy. This article is the conclusion of the series on the topic of Voice User Interfaces, which highlights various topics in four parts:

These were written in the course of the continuing education course Voice User Interface Strategy of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. Contents reflect the opinion of the author.

About the Author

Marisa Tschopp

Marisa Tschopp has studied Organizational Psychology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. She is conducting research about Artificial Intelligence from a humanities perspective, focusing on psychological and ethical aspects. She held different talks like for TEDx and is also the ambassador for the Women in AI (WAI) initiative in Switzerland. (ORCID 0000-0001-5221-5327)

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