On Tuesday, Apple was once again holding its annual developer conference WWDC and presented its latest innovations. Two weeks ago, we reported on another tech giant’s developer event: Google I/O. In April, Facebook announced updates for its social network. All these events have one thing in common: that artificial intelligence in general and voice user interfaces in particular seem to be one of the major tech revolutions coming in the next few years.
Therefore, in this blog post, we’d like to focus on the impact that the latest improvements with technology like Siri have on the customer’s interaction with digital products. Also, as we are the testing specialists, we’d like to show you how we’d can contribute to ensure that these products are successful.
Siri goes desktop
At first glance, Apple’s biggest move at the WWDC was to open up the talking iPhone assistant to third-party developers. They can now include Siri in their apps making it possible for users to speak to their phones and let Siri complete tasks such as organising a ride from Uber. But no less exciting was that Apple has now launched Siri on Mac. Thanks to a massive makeover, Apple’s desktop is now ready for voice commands to find files, search the web and send messages.
As Apple has extended its voice user interface to desktop and to third-party developers on the phone, we’d like to make this assumption: Voice user interfaces will become much more common and here we come to the revolutionary part:
Over decades we used to manage computers with mouse and keyboard. 2016 could be the year where that begins to change. Moreover, the phone –Apple was the company that brought us to swiping and using touchscreens instead of pressing small keys – could become a personal assistant. Now Apple could change our behaviour once again: In the future we could order pizza or book flights just by talking to our phone instead of writing an e-mail, filling out formulas or calling services directly.
Of course Google, Facebook and Amazon are working on similar technology with artificial intelligence, voice user interfaces and personal assistants, but it’s not always about being the first. It’s about being a game changer. Apple was not the first company presenting a smartphone or a tablet either.
Testing has to evolve
What does Testbirds do to accommodate these changes? Well, artificial intelligence isn’t as smart as it seems to be. It has to be improved prior to release, it constantly needs to learn and it has to have a great user experience to be accepted in the market.
As these personal assistants should work all over the world, they also need to come along with different languages and dialects. Thanks to our world-wide crowd we are able to offer localisation testing. Companies come to us and ask us to test their voice user interfaces with people speaking different languages.
Also, in the future more and more connected devices like smart fridges or vaccums that are managed by voice will be developed. Companies need to know if users like these products and more importantly: If they work. Therefore, we test the interactions between all the different components with the help of the crowd. In the future we will probably also adapt our testing services to be prepared for future innovations such as a “smart home”.
Finally, we can say that no matter what, the future is going to be interesting: As computer power is finally strong enough, artificial intelligence and voice user interfaces could change our lives if you, the consumers, choose to adopt them.