Collaboration Is Underutilizing Voice Recognition
by Ken Dulaney
Collaboration technology products today have been improving on their basic promise to connect and engage business participants. One of the major things Aragon has covered in our collaboration research is the lack of truly integrated messaging. Today, many collaboration providers are pivoting and changing the focus from method-centered collaboration—where the organizer must coordinate the methods by which participants connect—to people-centric collaboration (PCC), where people, not the modality, is prioritized.
PCC permits the meeting organizer to focus on who should be in a meeting, leaving the system to determine what method should be used to connect individuals. In the near future, many new technologies will be leveraged in the transforming collaboration market. Among them, voice recognition and face recognition stand out as exciting investment opportunities. While facial recognition technology is an attractive prospect, it may be the more developed offerings of the voice recognition device market that have the most potential. In this blog, we talk about the underutilization of mature voice recognition technology in today’s people-centric collaboration offerings.
The Rise of Voice Recognition
Vendors have already used voice recognition systems to automatically transcribe meeting interactions, providing a reliable source of meeting notes. While this is valuable, it could be expanded.
If there is anything almost everyone in a collaboration meeting can expect, it’s interruptions. Whether it’s a phone going off, a dog barking, or paper rustling—meetings are vulnerable to the unpredictability of the world beyond them. When you think about how some mobile apps can listen to a song being played in a public place and immediately recognize it, broader applications begin to become apparent as well. We can apply the same technology to finding the source of an interruption during a meeting—i.e. identifying the participant the distraction is coming from.
Once the sound is identified, it can then be filtered out. Today, hearing aids—whose sophisticated technology occupies circuit board real estate smaller than an American dime—can filter out background noise and clarify voice communications. Server and cloud capabilities with far more computing power than hearing aids surely have the potential to mimic or exceed these filtering features. These kinds of next-gen voice recognition apps can add value at the margins of work, optimizing your people-centric collaboration framework.
Will Facial Recognition Become a Part of Collaboration Solutions?
Facial recognition is being touted as a next generation innovation by many collaboration vendors, but it is still fraught with challenges. It is a far more complex technology than voice and there are many reports of bias and inaccurate results. Add to that additional challenges, such as the fact that some participants may not have bandwidth access to video if they’re on the go. Voiceprints are a far easier solution to automatically recognize participants. While some collaboration vendors have begun to pursue facial recognition, voice recognition may prove to be the more strategic investment.
There are likely many more examples of how mature voice could be deployed in collaboration products. The following years will show how dramatically the adoption of voice recognition systems will change the collaboration market.
Aragon believes that a vendor who develops just some of these suggestions will quickly distinguish themselves from their competitors and simultaneously benefit end users who today are unnecessarily burdened by annoyances that can easily be defeated. In summary, it is mature voice recognition apps, not the developing facial recognition technology market, that holds the keys to optimal collaboration strategy.