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Voice Search: The Future

Smartphones have been one of recent history’s fastest growing technological advancements. Like most technology, the inception of smartphones has led to the necessity for other supportive technologies to be developed. For example, mobile devices being able to connect to a full version of the Internet requires developers to generate and design new ways of interacting with the Internet. Consequently, technology has turned to an older program, voice recognition, to develop a new and thrilling user tool: voice search. Voice search was created with a simple mission: provide easy Internet searching without worrying about undersized keyboards or long scrolling text. While voice search fulfills this mission, it also opens the door for current technologies to find exciting and new applications.

What is voice search?

The Internet is dependent on the ability to search the seemingly infinite amount of information available online.  As more and more mobile devices are able to access the Internet fully, it has become increasingly important that they are easily able to search online content. Voice search streams speech digitally through the Internet to a remote database running computationally demanding voice-recognition algorithms that return corresponding text to a user’s search box. In basic terms, voice search uses the Internet to turn your voice into text so you can search the Internet.

The main resource of this technology is cloud computing. Voice search takes voice recognition to the cloud instead of the device itself, allowing for extremely high performance in both accuracy and timeliness. This is the main component that separates voice search from voice recognition.

Though voice recognition technology is familiar to most consumers, it has never been a fully functional technology. Voice search has taken the idea behind voice recognition, combined it with cloud computing (and a few highly mathematical algorithms) and turned it into a fully functioning tool.

What is the future of voice search?

The future will most likely see an increase in the adoption of voice search technology, not only in interactions with the Internet but also in controlling the devices themselves.

However, the most exciting and logical next step in voice recognition evolution would be language understanding technology. Classic search is based on matching query terms with an index of words found in documented text. Language understanding would differ from that in its ability to function abstractly. For example, a classic search for “change volume” would find documents or files containing those words. The same search with language understanding would result in bringing the user to the settings that control volume. Imagine changing the volume on your computer by simply asking it to change.

Voice search is a perfect example of how technology evolves in line with cultural trends and practical designs.  We can look forward to highly effective voice command and recognition functionality on future devices.  If you’d like to read more information on voice search, including its history and development, please check out this article.

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