Finding Their Voice: Wearable Devices and Speech Technologies Set to Transform the Customer Experience

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At the Google I/O conference in June, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil and Google's director of engineering, described how a computer can decipher between a human and an inanimate object, but it can't judge if a person is kind or mean.

At the Google I/O conference in June, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil and Google's director of engineering, described how a computer can decipher between a human and an inanimate object, but it can't judge if a person is kind or mean.

To reach this future state where computers can think as powerfully as a human will require computers that can build abstract consciousness from a more concrete level. This will enable a future where computers and read and understand the semantic content of a language and know the answers to people's questions before they ask them. According to Kurzweil, this all begins with the ability of humans to easily and naturally interact with computers with their voice.

At the heart of this evolution is a new wearable technology that relies on audible interaction methods. Nuance Communications, for example, debuted its new voice and touch technologies for wearable devices at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show. With the Dragon Mobile Assistant in wearable technology such as New York-based Omate's TrueSmart Android smartwatch, users can speak to their watch to control the lights in their house.

At this year's CES, Intel also announced that the company will launch a series of wearable devices this year, with one of the highlights being the smart ear buds, which has biometric and fitness capabilities. Sensors that measure uers' heart rates are built into the ear buds and they operate by users simply speaking to the headset without even having to pick up or even touch a phone.

Never before have we seen a moment in time where speech technologies and personal computing collide in such innovative ways. 1to1 Media has devoted a good portion of our Weekly Digest today to speech analytics and wearable technologies. In the feature, "Speech Analytics Goes Back to the Future," Anna Papachristos takes a look at companies' continuing need for speech analytics and the technology's potential to revolutionize the customer experience. Don Peppers adds an interesting perspective on how companies must be sure to embrace the difference between voice recognition and speech recognition in order to add an even deeper layer of granularity to their strategy.

In addition, our August infographic highlights stats on speech analytic's power to boost decisions and drive results. Also, the 1to1 Media In Action series, "Strengthening Self-Service via Speech Technology," examines how implementing voice technologies into customers' service experience lowers operational costs for businesses.

To complement the insights and trends on speech analytics, we also included a feature that takes an in-depth look at the wearable devices market in healthcare. In "An Eye on Wearable Devices in Healthcare," Judith Aquino takes a look at how when integrated with Big Data, wearable devices are poised to revolutionize the delivery of healthcare to patients and elevate the patient-provider experience. Read insights from health experts at Aetna, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, and numerous providers of wearable technologies about where this rapidly expanding market is headed.

I hope you enjoy reading these latest insights on speech and wearable innovations. Please share your feedback with us to tell us what you liked or how we can improve.

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