Voice enabled technologies are poised to change the way businesses interact with technology.
Voice Assistance platforms are maturing and making use of leaps in Bluetooth technology. Commercial voice assistant platforms are proliferating and are solving problems across industry verticals. When used in conjunction, automated processes become easier to trigger than ever before – allowing consumers and businesses to gamify the real world and create systems to track energy usage and rectify inefficiencies. Simple voice commands allow systems to engage in machine learning which is better at detecting optimal light, humidity, and temperature levels than any one individual.
As machine learning improves VA platforms, new avenues are created for interaction with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tags and beacons. These proximity technologies can guide workplace routines and simplify training procedures. Complex protocols can be prompted by VA platforms and ensure that employees exercise compliance with industry standards. VA platforms create hands-free guidance in any number of workplace task Think of such systems as an audial checklist with applications ranging from offices to hospitals and manufacturing facilities. While certain compliant procedures could prove irritating, beacons can eliminate some of the more overbearing reminders through proximity detection and real-time location tracking of personnel and assets. Instead of reminding healthcare professionals to wash their hands before and after every procedure, beacons can sense whether an individual has spent the recommended number of seconds at a hand-washing station and can trigger a voice assistant reminder if the person-place interaction was not detected.
BLE Beacons can convey via voice assistant platforms a host of useful data: warnings, reminders, training directions. This capability is thanks to the environmental sensors which come equipped in most beacons. These sensors can detect motion, humidity, ambient light, atmospheric pressure, and temperature. There are myriad of use-cases both for consumers and industry. If temperatures in a cold chain production line were to fall below a certain threshold, beacon-informed voice assistants could chime in with this critical information to employees and management, preventing serious product loss. In one’s home. On the consumer side, if beacons were to sense an individual’s proximity to home gym equipment, they could trigger a voice assistant reminder to complete a health target for the day. Beacons and voice assistants working together can remind a user of daily tasks and can be scaled from applications in the home to applications in industrial manufacturing plants.
This integration can automate quality assurance checks. “Siri, are there any bottlenecks on the production line?” “Siri, what is the current wait time for patients?” By sensing dwell times for tagged assets, beacons and voice assistants can replace lengthy checks and can aggregate historical data into reports which provide critical insights as to possible inefficiencies.
In the future, we can expect to encounter voice and beacon-enabled solutions everywhere – including offices, factories, healthcare facilities, and airports. The market is constantly expanding and consumers have readily taken to the new technology. According to a Gartner report, 35% of consumers consistently use a voice assistant platform. The market is expected to surpass $4 billion by 2021.
BLE-enabled virtual shop assistants
Bluetooth beacons and voice assistance platforms can interact with smartphone apps to inform retailers when a customer enters a store, who they are, where they go, what they buy, and when they leave the store. Digital flyers, coupons, and product information already automate many of the roles previously performed by physical employees. The next step taken by major retailers is to use voice assistants as virtual shop assistants to provide consumers with information regarding stock levels, in-store navigation, product usage information, sales, and store policies. This information is not revolutionary – beacons already interact with consumer devices, but the added layer of voice assistance will encourage more customers to interact digitally with box stores. This interaction is critical in the success of retailers in an age of IoT.
In store applications with mobile loyalty programs are proven to improve brand loyalty and the overall customer experience. Check out the Amazon Go store which has completely automated the shopping process with Bluetooth technology, allowing no-contact checkouts, BLE-facilitated payments, and providing all the necessary wayfinding and product information to customers.
While streaming music and seeking information remain the most popular use cases for voice assistants today, voice assistant capabilities are expanding rapidly thanks to the integration of Bluetooth in consumer products and industrial spaces. As machine learning fine-tunes many of the communication issues between voice assistants and users, we can expect to see a yearly leap in voice assistant integrations in the home and industry.