The revolution of search - Voice Search, speak, search, find!
Voice Search (Google Voice Search) was first launched in 2011 for Google websites, but did not initially meet with the desired response. In October 2012, Google presented a new app for mobile devices, which was met with significantly more interest, as many people are increasingly using their smartphones to search and surf the Internet.
With the browser plug-in "Google Voice Search Hotword", which was first launched in November 2013, Google made "voice search" available for browsers such as Chrome or Firefox for desktop PCs. In the meantime, there is already the possibility of voice-controlled search on smart devices such as tablets, wearables or data glasses.
Since 2015, voice searches have doubled (according to Google's Gary Illyes), with the younger generation contributing significantly, although many users of any age quickly learn to appreciate the convenience of voice search and take a liking to it once they try it.
Voice Search - What is it?
Voice Search uses the voice to forward the search query and search the Internet for information. By saying a code word out loud ("Okay Google", "Alexa", "Siri"), the Google voice search can be activated and the user can start with the spoken search queries.
A pronounced word or a concrete question are no problem, even search terms in foreign languages can be recognized accurately by Voice Search. Correct and clear pronunciation is important for this. Currently, Google achieves an accuracy of 95 % when searching by voice command.
What are the advantages of voice search?
By using the Voice Search app, Google promises its users more convenience compared to manually entering Keywords or whole sentences. This is an easy way to get around the problem of autocorrect or when you have large (sweaty) fingers for the touch keyboard and no easy, correct typing is possible.
When entering Longtail keywords or foreign language terms, Voice Search is a great advantage, as the search results of the manually entered search terms of Voice Search are identical and a result is displayed faster (especially for specific search queries).
In everyday life, Voice Search offers considerable added value, since the voice assistant is not only good for voice input, but also serves as a voice control for various mobile devices (smartphone, tablet, smart TV, smart box, smartwatch, and many more).
Advantages of Voice Search
- Accessible search (for spelling difficulties, small keyboard, physical disability)
- No typing via the keyboard
- Search results identical with manual input
- Enter whole questions or long search terms without wasting much time
- Reading out the results or entire texts
What are the common voice search providers?
Was Apple's pioneer and first voice assistant in 2011. After initial difficulties and development problems, Apple was able to improve and refine its technology considerably. Installed by default on all newer Apple products such as MacBook, iPhone, iPad, iwatch and more.
Google Voice Search (old) / Google Assistant (new)
Since 2011 on the market exclusively for Googe.com and only in English. Since 2012 also as an app for mobile devices. It executes commands and answers questions.
Originally, Alexa was developed as a guidance tool for the Internet, but after Amazon took over in 1999, the voice assistant was further developed and packaged in a speaker (Amazon Echo 1st generation). Thus, the assistant became mobile and usable everywhere. For the first time, Alexa appeared in the USA in June 2015 (UK: September 2016, DE: October 2016, FRA: June 2018).
Microsoft's voice assistant was first presented at the BUILD conference in 2014 and is preinstalled by default starting with Windows 2010. Particularly with Cortana, the focus is on understanding natural language. Natural language means a language spoken by humans that has historically grown as a language (native language).
How does Voice Search work?
The voice search app is started with a command (e.g., "Siri," "OK Google," "Alexa") and the text of the search queries is spoken over the microphone from the end device. The artificial intelligence then converts this into a readable machine text.
The technology breaks down the spoken text into individual words and then puts them into a semantic context. In this way, complex search queries can be made that produce a more precise search result, and meanwhile artificial intelligence can also determine the gender of the person speaking through voice analysis (adapted search result).
Humans and computers can thus communicate directly with each other.
Different analysis methods that are taken into account:
- Speech recognition - spoken text is converted into text files for machine readability (nowadays also dialect recognizable)
- Lexical analysis - Decomposition of the text chain into meaningful words and sentences
- Morphological analysis -Examination of the grammatical structure of the text.
- Semantic analysis - Capturing context to link words to meaning
- Pragmatic analysis - What is the function of the text? Is it a question, statement, instruction or similar.
Voice search also takes into account local conditions, so depending on the location of the user, the search results for a search term may vary.
What is Voice Search used for?
The most used voice search options are:
- Internet search - On mobile devices as well as via the browser of PCs
- Calls - Starting the call using Voice Search
- Play music - Play single songs or complete playlists
- Navigation - View locations or routes
- Newsflash - Speaking the text to compose messages
- Memories - Activate and/or set for future dates