Everything old is new again. Voice will will come back into vogue over the the next two years, based upon three distinct trends: Quality improvements, blended with newer services/apps and worked over as its own unique data type.
There’s a bigger (and in need of a little editing tweak) piece over at TMC Net here. But mobile HD voice service already covers nearly all mobile users in Canada and a good chunk of Europe through individual operators (Yes, they need to all work together, that’s another editorial….). Add to wideband improvements other quality tweaks like Spice Software’s IVR enhancements because, well, robotic voices suck.
Better voice quality means better voice recognition services for search and Siri-style personal assistants, as well as better speech-to-text transcription services for email, conference calls, and videos.
New apps combining mobile devices and voice are in the pipeline. Thrutu-like apps where people can talk and immediately share pictures, video, web pages, and location are part of a larger promise of Rich Communications Service (RCS) to redefine and refine peer-to-peer communications beyond IM/chat-based interaction.
Finally, voice is getting more billing to be treated as its own distinct data type. Contact centers have been recording and data mining voice quietly for years, but with cheap storage and better/faster voice recognition schemes available Oracle is talking up “Hypervoice,” the ability to index speech for search. Businesses of all sizes already have the ability to record phone calls, so it’s not a great leap to start logging and mining voice for better service, management and competitive intelligence.