Voice User Interface (VUI): The Next Big Thing in App Development

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The transforming landscape of app development is adopting Voice User Interface (VUI) at a rapidly increasing pace. VUI enables apps to be more inclusive and comfortable to use and thus, it helps businesses build a better user experience. 

VUI gives wireless a new meaning. VUI enables users to navigate through apps, make transactions, capture pictures, call, and ask questions just by using their voice.

As for its popularity in numbers, a Bootcamp report suggests that in 2023, approximately 8 billion voice assistants are expected to be used around the world. 

Now, moving forward, we are throwing some light on benefits that have given a push to the popularity of VUI. We will also take you through a few examples of successful VUIs before we wrap up this blog. Stay with us until the end!

The Future of VUI in App Development

VUI-adoption for app development is showing a significant increase as users are being biased towards more comfortable-to-use options. Some stats like the following prove that. Let’s have a look!

  • Statista suggests in 2024, number of digital voice assistants might cross 8.4 billion in numbers
  • In 2023, the global AI market is expected to reach a market size of more than half a trillion dollars
  • The revenue of smart speakers is expected to increase by 52.31% between 2023-2028. The expected revenue is 27.8 billion units by 2028.
  • Cantonese remained the most desired language in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) programs in 2022
  • In 2022, the largest user group of voice assistants was between the age of 25 and 34
  • Users of Smart home markets are expected to rise by 86.47 percent between 2023-2027

Benefits of Voice User Interface (VUI)

  • Hands-free control

VUI enables wireless control but with better comfort. The technology leverages Natural Language Processing (NLP) to understand voice commands. VUI gives users freedom from the burden of going to the smartphone and pressing a button, or having to unlock the phone all the time.

 

  • Time efficiency

Top Mobile app development companies are adopting VUI to save time. The technology helps users control apps without having to interrupt what they are doing. For instance, Android Auto allows users to change songs, set map locations, etc. without stopping the car. 

 

  • Multilingual support

VUIs are being trained using a massive amount of training data to make them more user-friendly. This enables apps with VUIs to understand multiple languages and dialects. Several apps out there like Amazon Alexa support languages like English, French, Hindi, Italian, etc.

 

  • Contextual understanding

VUIs are trained to deliver a better contextual understanding. Using conversational data, textual data, and more, contextual understanding of VUI-based apps is boosted. Increased contextual understanding also helps personalize conversations better and deliver more tailored responses. 

 

  • Improved data collection

VUI helps app owners collect more accurate data. Voice commands help businesses collect data that helps AI understand accents and dialects better. This data also helps the company plan its product and promotional campaigns with increased efficiency. 

 

  • Seamless cross-device support

Voice commands make it easier to control apps on multiple devices. Users can control apps with VUIs on any smart device they choose to install. Take Google Assistant as an example. 

You can use it on a smartphone, a TV, earbuds, or even a smart speaker. If you are using the same account, Google Assistant will even have your history of using it remembered for more personalized assistance.

 

  • Cost-effective solutions

VUIs help businesses reduce their operating costs effectively. The technology, if designed well, can remove or effectively reduce the need for human interference making it easier for businesses to function with a lesser number of people.

Challenges in Building VUI-based Apps

 

  • Privacy and security

The very basic concern of the people using VUI-based applications is the lack of privacy. VUI-based apps listen constantly to receive commands. Some brands are also collecting voice commands to optimize their VUI-based apps for better-quality services.

 

  • Availability of the training data

For a good quality VUI-based chatbot, it has to be trained well. Which ultimately depends on the amount of data used to train the app. While tech giants like Google have a good amount of budget to allocate, a massive amount of already collected data, and other resources, it gets difficult for small companies and startups to have access to this size of data.

 

  • Upgrading the existing product

Another critical challenge that most companies face is integrating VUI in existing apps. Depending on the characteristics of the existing app, it can be a costly affair to revamp the app from scratch. It also might take more amount of time to rebuild the app with VUI-based features.

 

  • Difficulty in understanding languages and dialects

Targeting a major market segment will require having understanding of different languages and dialects. However, lack of enough data can make it difficult to achieve that. Languages and dialects might vary from one location to another. So, to ensure the app remains relevant for all targeted users, app developers might have to invest a good amount of time and money in collecting training data.

 

  • Identifying homophones

Languages like English have several similar sounding words but with different meanings. These words can confuse the VUI-based app. This requires the need to adapt a good contextual and conversational understanding in the platform.

Wrapping up

To summarize, the VUI market is definitely attracting lots of attention from developers and users both. With evolving apps and devices, more and more developers are able to leverage the opportunity to give their apps touchless control. 

However, as mentioned above, there are a few challenges that developers might need to overcome to build a successful VUI-based application. Take privacy and security as an example. Amazon was fined with over $30 million on alleged privacy violations caused by its voice-assistants like Alexa. 

Apart from privacy concerns, building an user interface that runs VUI-based c0ntrols smoothly across multiple devices can become a challenge too. So, a well-planned strategy and a team of right experts can help you leverage this rapidly growing market segment.