Wavelink Blog

Tag: voice applications

Finding Your Voice

We’ve been using key-based commands to operate technology for several decades. However, in the past few years, we’ve finally been able to make commands to some technologies with just the sound of our on voices

The human voice is a powerful thing. Sure, the spoken word is our most common means of communication, but these days it’s giving us a bit more. Think about your daily routine, and the tasks you ask of others in straightforward, clear commands (we politely call them “requests”). Now think about how we speak with the technology that surrounds us. That’s right. How do you speak with technology?

We’ve been using key-based commands to operate technology for several decades. However, in the past few years, we’ve finally been able to make commands to some technologies with just the sound of our on voices. For me, the most common experience sounds like this:

Me: “Dial by number.”

Car: “Say the number.”

Me: “631-555-1212.”

Car: “631-555-1212.”

Me: “Dial.”

Car: “Dialing.”

I couldn’t wait to finally get a car that could connect with my phone so I could get high-quality, hands-free voice. I had been the route of using my phone in speakerphone mode and then tried the Bluetooth speakerphone, but neither delivered what I had hoped. Finally, when I was selecting a new car, I not only was able to use voice commands to place the call, but to configure the system. It took me a few steps to get through the hurdles of an evolving technology, but it eventually became easy to use, inexpensive to implement, and high quality.


Will Voice Be My Valentine?


While my wife might find this post a bit concerning, I think that more people should fall in love with voice. After all, voice enabled applications are known to make everyones lives much easier. They are know to save you money. They make you more accurate. And they are known to increase safety in the warehouse. What’s not to love!?

Well, did you also know that you can fall in love with voice in 30 days or less? That’s right, in as little as 30 days your SAP, Oracle, Manhattan, Red Prairie or any other WMS, can be talking back to you with voice enabled data and direction. Sign-in to the webinar we hosted yesterday and see for yourself.

On behalf of the Wavelink team, we wish you and your special voice-enabled application a wonderful Valentines Day!



How Voice-Enabled Applications Can Help Your Business


With the rise of speech recognition technology such as Siri for the iPhone, Dragon for PCs and OnStar in vehicles, it seems voice-enabled technology is becoming ever more prevalent for consumers. In fact, Melanie Pinola of PCWorld states “It isn’t hard to imagine a near future when we’ll be commanding our coffee makers, talking to our printers, and telling the lights to turn themselves off.”

As with the BYOD trend, once consumers become accustomed to using specific technology in their personal lives – they expect the same functionality in the workplace. We see this as many bring smartphones and tablets into the corporate space and we can expect that voice functionality will follow the same path.

But does voice technology even make sense for businesses? Absolutely. This is especially true in a back-office environment, such as a warehouse. Adding voice capabilities has been proven to deliver 99 percent accuracy, as well as a 10 percent improvement in productivity to warehouse applications such as data-entry, picking and processing. Voice also dramatically improves safety by allowing workers to work in a hands and eyes-free environment.

While the benefits for voice-enabled technology are many, both consumers and corporations alike are sometimes fearful that there may be negative implications as well. Slate Magazine recently reported that the country of Ecuador has successfully completed installation of “the world’s first biometric identification platform, at a nation-wide level, that combines voice and face identification capabilities.” While the technology behind such a massive project is impressive, many are worried about the issue of privacy for Ecuadorian citizens. In addition, Sherry Tufts, a professor at MIT, recently told the New York Times “I’m not saying voice recognition is bad. I’m saying it’s part of a package of attachments to objects where we should tread carefully because we are pushing a lot of Darwinian buttons in our psychology.” Tufts believes that by speaking with inanimate objects, humans behave differently than they would if they were simple typing or clicking a mouse. “Humans are wired for speech and tend to respond to talking devices as if they were kindred spirits,” she told the Times.

healthcaretabletBut don’t the positive outcomes outweigh any potential negatives? In my opinion they do, especially when it comes to applications where typing or manually inputting data into a machine can be detrimental or even hazardous. This applies to a number of types of jobs – from a warehouse worker taking inventory from a tall ladder to a doctor recording patient vital signs.

I believe that the applications for voice-enabled technology are limitless and will skyrocket in the coming years. As consumers interact with this technology more and more in their personal lives, they will expect it in the workplace too. I think we’ll see speech recognition move beyond the few business applications where it currently resides, such as supply chain, healthcare and field services, to the desk of nearly every end-user in the corporate enterprise. They’ll be commanding their computers, phones and other objects with their voices and fingertips. And the keyboard may just become obsolete. So, tell me, do you think voice-recognition technology makes sense for your business? Leave a comment below and explain why or why not.

Goya Foods, Speakeasy, and the Mobilizer Awards

As some of you may have seen last week, Goya Foods was recognized with a Mobilizer Award for supply chain operations by Mobile Enterprise magazine and their use of Speakeasy. The award highlights trends that we’ve seen for a while now, in that more and more companies are trying to leverage their applications while maximizing as much productivity out of them as possible. An easy way to do this is by voice-enabling applications without having to redo the entire application. Goya tapped into this and the early results are telling.

Look for us to have more and more information on the Goya example in the coming weeks and months. Additionally, if you’re looking for more information on Speakeasy and voice products, we recently held a free webinar that you can view on-demand.

Vote for Wavelink Enterprise Mobility Solutions

We are proud to say that we’ve been nominated for a number of awards at this years Mobile Star Awards, presented by Mobile Village. This years nominations include our Avalanche mobile device and infrastructure management solution, as well as Speakeasy, our voice-enabled application software. It’s pretty much just a matter of registering, and then voting! Stop by today and tell them why you chose Wavelink!

Retail Asia 2011 Recap – What Can Voice do for Retail?

Retail Asia 2011 is in the rear view mirror after a successful show in Hong Kong. By now, it should be evident to all that retail and technology are intertwined very tightly, and that successful retailers need to stay in tune with the latest thinking to optimize and insure their profits.

Wavelink spotlighted Speakeasy with a live system collecting data and responding and directing workers in Mandarin Chinese. Speakeasy supports a wide range of global languages, even with regional accents or variations. Retailers are quick to understand the benefits of Speakeasy in several of the key retail functions, especially the lack of need for user specific training, speech processing functions local on the device, and the ease of integration and use. They agreed it would improve floor staff productivity and flexibility audibly guiding workers through their tasks looking at mobile device displays only when necessary.

This show also  included a lot of different electronic shopper hardware and software, it was highlighted by a number of intelligent video display panels. The panels actually watch the viewers and react by changing programming based on how many people are watching, whether they are moving closer or farther away, which direction, the viewers sex, and I even saw one where the panel evaluates the mood of the shopper. I’m told none of the data is saved due to privacy concerns, but using it on the spot allows the store to change its look and interaction with shoppers to buy what they came for, and keep ’em coming back for more. Mobile technology was well represented by several key global and local software and hardware providers and distributors. Most of the high tech hardware companies were present as were the ERP and WMS system providers in some fashion.

As I said earlier, retailers recognize the advantages provided by good, new technology and move quickly to capitalize on the benefits. They are now quickly learning the good things Wavelink Speakeasy, on top of Terminal Emulation and Wavelink Industrial Browser, can do to improve their operations and profits. Thanks for checking in!

From Hong Kong, 再见 (Zàijiàn) or goodbye!