Building voice interfaces for the internet of things

Future Workplace. While IoT is being adopted by consumers and companies at an increasing rate, Voice User Interfaces VUIs are fast emerging as revolutionary technology, and together are shaping both corporate and lifestyle markets.

People can now talk to their IoT devices, rather than about it. Because IoT functions on an ecosystem of connected devices, it can combine sensing and signaling technologies to collect, process, and transmit data to cloud platforms for analysis, insight, and action. This makes it an excellent partner for VUI technologies, allowing users to address and analyse their data in a more natural manner. Furthermore, Voice Technology has allowed people to engage with their data in a new way, allowing the capture of information from endpoints, analyse their insights, and take action via direct communication — without having to move in a more manual, hands-on manner.

Benefits include:. While voice is a natural method of communication, Voice Interface technology does not exist to create conversations. This technology may exist in the future, with people being able to have intelligent, natural discussions with their VIU. However, these complex actions require collaboration and coordination that current advancements cannot keep up with - yet.

building voice interfaces for the internet of things

From controlling Smart Houses to connecting with relevant data in business meetings, voice-oriented devices are paving the way toward a more innovative future. If you would like to hear more about how IoT can innovate your workspace, get in touch with MOQdigital today.

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Converged Communications.Smart speaker adoption has been rapid, with voice assistants such as Alexa setting the pace. Today 53 million people in the U. The number of voice assistants in U. Smart speaker apps run on smart phones and tablets as well. One vendor, for example, offers a device-agnostic voice control platform that can be customized to a company or industry vocabulary and operate offline.

Another offers a smart TV equipped with a virtual assistant. A third provides voice interaction in manufacturing and construction environments, allowing workers hands-free access to relevant knowledge on demand.

Cars are now integrated with mobile apps to enable voice-activated commands while driving. In addition, the initial deployment of voice-activated technology in the enterprise tends to focus on cloud-based customer support, accessible via smart phones and laptops, rather than dedicated IoT hardware. Other industries such as transportation and manufacturing require edge computing to provide the necessary bandwidth for voice-activated technology.

As a result, adoption of voice-activated technology will likely be slower, because deployment of the technology in those environments requires additional investment in edge servers to boost processing bandwidth to acceptable levels. When Amazon first released Alexa init had a catalog of skills; as of Septemberthe catalog has grown to more thanskills. Amazon will create custom skills for a fee, and also offers the Alexa Skills Kit, a collection of application programming interface, tools and sample code which third-party developers can use to create their own.

These new skills can be made available to any person or company using Alexa for voice-command functionality. This strategy enables a low-cost and rapid adoption of voice-activated IoT in the enterprise, and it bypasses the need for edge resources.

This may limit its application, but it gets the technology in the door and integrates it into some business processes.

The hospital also built an Alexa app that a gastroenterologist uses in the operating room to voice-activate an endoscopic camera. Orbita, which produces an assortment of virtual health assistants, has generalized these capabilities and made its platform available in many mediums — smartphones, tablets, smart speakers — empowering consumers to locate medical resources, order medication, make appointments, understand lab results and set self-care reminders.

All of these approaches to integrating voice-activated technology into consumer and professional processes hasten the adoption of IoT in general; but voice-activated technology is also driving the development of new processes.

Another is the screenless wearable wearables have done much to advance public awareness of IoTwhich typically requires a mobile application to display its data to the user; with voice-activated technology, it can respond directly. Perhaps most game-changing is the potential of language translation.

Programming Voice Interfaces by Walter Quesada, Bob Lautenbach

Voice-activated technology in IoT, with AI providing the translation, will remove many barriers in business and improve personal quality of life.

In the workplace, real-time translation and IoT devices that can overlay it will make multi-lingual teleconferencing more efficient. Log in with your IoT World Today account. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

How Voice Control Will Make the Internet of Things More Human

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Embedded Computing. Getty Images. Voice-activated devices have helped fuel IoT adoption. The long-term ramifications for application development could be considerable. Written by Scott Robinson 24th March New Types of Voice-Activated Apps All of these approaches to integrating voice-activated technology into consumer and professional processes hasten the adoption of IoT in general; but voice-activated technology is also driving the development of new processes.

As the number of edge devices increases exponentially, sending high volumes of data to the cloud could swiftly overwhelm budgets and broadband capabilities.

Deep learning, a subset of machine learning, reduces cost and connectivity burdens. For more than 40 years, Argent has specialized in the fabrication and distribution of unique adhesive and die-cut solutions. See why Argent relies on the Plex Manufacturing Platform to remain competitive and support their open book management. AI support in the cloud and at the edge have furthered embedded IoT development.Cisco Systems expects more than 10 billion mobile Internet-connected devices byincluding machine-to-machine M2M modules.

Gartner sees the Internet of Things IoT reaching 26 billion installed units by How do those three statements relate? With all these mobile Internet-connected devices and installed IoT units, the progression to voice control and monitoring is the next logical step.

Building intuitive human interaction capabilities within next generation-connected products is becoming essential and expected," says Yasser Kahn, CEO and founder of Connect2.

Mean IoT platform that represents among other technologies a long list of voice control and monitoring companies. It reduces the adoption and learning curve for the end user while, at the same time, creat[ing] a unique bond between the product and its owner. The increase in personal devices by is an important statistic to consider, notes Jorge Lopezvice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. The voice control industry is a proxy for growth, but it's also a proxy for an upper limit; once the number of personal devices reaches every human on the planet, further growth is only gained by increasing the capabilities of things, he says.

James McQuiveyvice president and principal analyst at Forrester explains that the most common applications for this technology will be home security, personal and family health monitoring, and family monitoring whether remote or local. Consumers' need for these applications will justify the introduction of microphones and other sensors into homes and even businesses almost immediately.

Even though the most common microphones today are in voice control of specific appliances, devices and entertainment services such as Amazon FireTV and Comcast's X1 Platform, these likely won't be the microphones installed as safety and health monitors.

What's more likely, McQuivey says, are environmental microphones either built into smoke alarms and thermostats or in the form of small plug-in modules such as an electric air freshener. Once these microphones are in place, they can be assigned to do just about anything — listen to people sleep to provide a 'snore report'identify if individuals face health issues that need to be addressed, monitor who's home in the afternoon to ensure the kids arrive home from school safely and on time and alert parents if something's not right.

Retailers that already sell to homes and businesses are in a good position, he says. Many big-name companies offer voice recognition software and virtual assistant programs for their communication and entertainment products that talk to users and respond to a list of commands — Amazon FireTV, Amazon DashComcast's X1 Platform, Microsoft CortanaGoogle Now and Apple Siri. Some even monitor user habits, answer questions guided by input and deliver suggestions based on logs of what users view, access or save, such as movies, music and favorite restaurants.

These systems, though, represent a simplified first step. They don't provide the level of voice control monitoring that analysts see as the wave of the near future. The next step, as McQuivey says, involves more advanced security and smart systems that first monitor and then interact with human users to fulfill their daily needs — turning on lights, adjusting thermostats, reporting intruders and identifying residents or employees based on certain biological signs or even DNA.

Meanwhile, the medical devices that hospitals use to monitor and communicate vital signs such as blood pressure, sugar levels and heart stress will move into homes and offices. Even office equipment and home appliances that tell users when the printer is out of ink or the milk has expired, respectively, are part of this scenario.

Lopez says the transition from a human-centric economy to one balanced between humans and things will put two speeds into play. There's the speed of how people think and respond, which can range from tenths of a second to hours, and there's the speed of things, which operate at speeds than people won't be able to perceive. Privacy, of course, "will be one of the most important issues we'll have to wrestle with," McQuivey says.

Abuses and "significant mistakes" will happen, he says, and they'll be on the order of what happened to the credit card and password information of Sony and Target. In this case, though, the nature of privacy is harder to define.

building voice interfaces for the internet of things

Credit card numbers can be used against their owners with great effect. But when everything you say in a day period — as recorded by a microphone in your home or office, then stored somewhere in the cloud — can create possible abuses if that information is accessed, it's harder to specify all the potential ramifications.

It's important to walk into these situations with eyes wide open, McQuivey says.Based on his earlier work in on vocoder voice encoder Dudley put together gas tubes, a foot pedal, 10 piano-like keys, and various other components designed to work in harmony to produce human speech from synthesized sound. Despite the vast experience of these great institutions, the evolution of synthesized speech and recognition would be slow and steady.

In addition to advancements in other technological areas, it would take another 49 years for voice to be widely adopted and accepted. Both voice interfaces VIhistorically referred to as voice user interfaces VUIas well as the Internet of Things IoT have been around for many years now in various shapes and sizes.

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These systems, backed by machine learning MLartificial intelligence AIand other advances in cognitive computing as well as the rapid decline in hardware costs and the extreme minification of components, have all led to this point. In this book, we bring to light some of the modern implementations of both technological marvels, VI and IoT, as we explore the multitude of integration options out in the wild today.

We will attempt to limit general theories, design patterns, and high-level overviews of voice interfaces and IoT to Chapters 1 and 2while focusing on actual hands-on development and implementation in the subsequent chapters. Soon, ubiquitous conversational interfaces will be all around us, from appliances and office buildings to vehicles and public spaces.

The physical structures themselves will be able to recognize who you are, hold conversations and carry out commands, understand basic human needs, and react autonomously on our behalf—all while we use our natural human senses such as sight, sound, touch, and voice as well as the many additional human traits such as walking, waving, and even thinking to connect with this new, natural user interface NUI -enabled smart world.

NUI essentially refers to interfaces that are natural in human-to-human communications versus the artificial means of human-to-machine interfacing such as using a keyboard or mouse.

building voice interfaces for the internet of things

An early example of a NUI is the touchscreen, which allowed users to control graphical user interfaces GUIs with the touch of their finger. And with a MYO armband, you can control the world around you with a mere wave of your hand.

As Arthur C. Hopefully one day we will have figured out how the wand chooses the wizard. As futurists, we dream of all the wonderful technologies that will be available in the years and decades to come. As engineers and makers, we wonder what it will take to get there. While NUIs consist of many interfaces wrapped in a multitude of technologies and sensors, this book will focus primarily on our natural ability to speak, listen, and verbally communicate with one another and machines.

In most cases, our voice is probably one of the most efficient methods of communication; it requires very little effort and energy on our part as compared to hand gestures or typing on a touchscreen. I say in most cases, because as with any technology, you want to make sure you are using the right tools for the right job.

While VI has a long road toward ubiquity, we are getting closer each day to a point where communicating with machines will be as efficient and commonplace as interacting with our friends and family. Wait, is that really all that strange? Maybe for a viable product it is, but if you find it intriguing then by all means, add a voice interface to your toilet, if for nothing else, the entertainment value. When adding voice capability to inanimate objects, it is important to consider how many devices within a small proximity will have voice enablement, how many of them share the same wake words, and so on.

Think of it this way: imagine being in a room with a dozen voice-enabled devices, then you ask for the time and you get a response from ten different voices. How annoying would that be on a daily basis?

How to Design Conversations for Voice Interfaces - Amazon Alexa Voice Design Guide

In that scenario, ideally there would be one main voice interface that interacts with many different devices. This is why most people tend to go with a single voice interface versus having to deal with remembering multiple wake words and commands.

If you are creating a brand-new device with voice capabilities, there are a ton of things you need to think about to ensure that it offers a pleasant experience. For starters, the wake word. Do you include a wake word, or will you choose not to? If you include it, what should it be? Do you build it from scratch or do you leverage an existing voice framework? This book will cover some existing voice frameworks and APIs that can be leveraged in your own internet-enabled device.

To gain a high-level understanding of how these APIs operate, we must first grasp the underlying concepts and technologies that power them.Voice interfaces have been a dream of technologists for a long time. In recent years, we have witnessed how advances in deep learning and cognitive computing technologies have made voice interfaces a reality for consumer mobile applications.

The capabilities and rapid progress of conversational interfaces are set to become one of the fundamental building blocks of the next generation of enterprise mobile applications. The fundamental characteristics of conversational interfaces in the enterprise will be based on providing seamless mechanisms to interact with enterprise systems using voice commands.

In enterprise mobile solutions, conversational interfaces can be seen as an extension of the user experience provided by mobile applications. However, this simple extension opens the doors for new scenarios that were incredibly hard, or simply impossible to solve without conversational models. Like taps and swipes, conversational interfaces are becoming another element of the user experience in mobile applications and a dominant element in the user experience of IoT and wearable solutions in the enterprise.

From that perspective, enterprise mobile and IoT solutions will soon incorporate voice interactions as another mechanism to access business data or interact with business processes. One of the great benefits of voice interactions in the enterprise is the conversational experience. The conversational nature of voice interfaces offer business users a model to interact with enterprise systems without being constrained by a specific user interface.

Enterprise mobile applications are designed for single user interactions. Even in the scenarios in which multiple users collaborate to accomplish a task, each user is likely to be interacting with a separate instance of a mobile application. Conversational interfaces break that boundary, allowing different users to interact with a single application in order to accomplish a specific task.

This capability enables levels of collaboration in enterprise mobile and IoT solutions that were simply not possible before. Conversational interfaces will enable enterprise mobile and IoT apps to interact with enterprise systems via voice commands.

These models will create a direct channel between business users and line of business systems without the constraints of a specific mobile user interface. Internationalizing enterprise mobile and IoT solutions is a very complex endeavor. Factors like support for different languages or cultural differences in user experience make it extremely challenging for mobile applications to effectively develop international capabilities.

Conversational interfaces offer a simple model to internationalize mobile and IoT experiences in the enterprise. Most cognitive computing interfaces effectively support different languages and conversation models which provides an immediate mechanism for mobile and IoT applications to work across different geographies and markets. In recent years, conversational interfaces have become one of the most intense areas of competition and innovation in the mobile space.Explore a preview version of Programming Voice Interfaces right now.

Get a step-by-step guide for developing voice interfaces for applications and devices connected to the Internet of Things.

By allowing consumers to use natural human interactions, you can avoid awkward methods of input and interactivity to provide them with elevated user experiences. This practical book is ideal for software engineers who build applications for the Web, smartphones, as well as embedded systems that dominate the IoT space. Today, software engineers need to know not only how to program effectively but also how to ….

Much has changed in technology over the past decade. Data is hot, the cloud is ubiquitous, …. Easy to understand and fun to read, this updated edition of Introducing Python is ideal for …. C is undeniably one of the most versatile programming languages available to engineers today. With this …. Skip to main content. Start your free trial.

How conversational interfaces can be the future of mobile and IoT in the enterprise

Buy on Amazon. Book description Get a step-by-step guide for developing voice interfaces for applications and devices connected to the Internet of Things. Integrate voice interfaces with internet connected devices and sensors Learn how to integrate with existing voice interfaces Understand when to use a voice over other Natural User Interface technologies Build a prototype with tools such as Raspberry Pi, solderless breadboards, jumper cables, sensors, Arduino, Visual Studio, and other tools Use cloud services such as Azure and AWS to integrate voice with your existing or new web service end-points.

Show and hide more. Table of contents Product information. What Is NLP? Iterate: Evolve the Prototype Why Iterate? What Else Can We Do? Index Show and hide more. ISBN: Data is hot, the cloud is ubiquitous, … book Introducing Python, 2nd Edition by Bill Lubanovic Easy to understand and fun to read, this updated edition of Introducing Python is ideal for … book Programming C 8.People are now awakening to the vast potential of voice user interfaces VUIs.

A voice user interface is a technology that allows people to use their voices to interact with computers and devices. Voice user interfaces are evolving much faster than their technological predecessors—punch cards, keyboards, mice, and touchscreens. As each new technology becomes capable and robust, it takes the bold, the brave, and the adventurous to show us what's possible. Visionary developers in all fields, from games to brand agencies, corporations to startups, are embracing voice and paving the way toward fully conversational, multimodal interactions that extend to mobile, wearables, and even virtual reality.

Web services and the Internet of Things IoT provide ready-made opportunities for voice.

The Ultimate Guide to Building a Voice Application

For example, sensors and readouts make for natural smart-home integrations. Now any developer can build software that implements cutting-edge advances from fields like automatic speech recognition ASRnatural language understanding NLUand text-to-speech TTS.

All of these advances are driving an inflection point in voice technology. We welcome voice experiences because we are wired for speech. Consider setting a kitchen timer.

Skills are like apps for Alexa, enabling customers to engage with your content or services naturally with voice. Alexa Skills Kit. Get Started.

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What's New. What Is a Voice User Interface? On this page:. Trends Fueling the Rise of Voice. The Science Is Accessible. VUIs: Inventing the Future. Start Building with the Alexa Skills Kit.


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