Voice Advances Its EQ

Voice is a natural channel for conveying our emotions and feelings. However, voice technology is still trying to crack analyzing sentiment and how these data points can inform the creation of emotionally intelligent voice experiences and assistants. We have seen voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant expand their speaking styles to include different emotions in certain responses, reflecting more humanlike interactions. However, monitoring emotions on the consumer side is still a nascent technology. Amazon has made some steps toward realizing this with its health and wellness wearable Halo, which tracks users’ tone through their voices to make them more aware of their communication styles. This week, we’ve seen a new update in emotion recognition with Spotify’s patent approval of technology that analyzes listeners’ moods. Even though the patent only points to a small amount of features and a targeted use case, we are beginning to see how voice technology might leverage sentiment to provide more relevant recommendations and experiences for consumers in many contexts.

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Spotify Wants to Cheer You Up

Spotify was granted a patent (originally filed in 2018) for technology that analyzes listeners’ voice and background noise to suggest content based on their mood, gender, age, accent, or even social setting. A user’s pitch may be used to determine gender and age, while intonation, stress, and rhythm of speech may point to specific emotions or personality attributes. With this information, Spotify can personalize music recommendations in real-time according to an individual’s specific situation or temperament, and the tech might also be leveraged for a voice assistant that’s currently in the works. However, personal information about users’ feelings may stoke privacy concerns about how Spotify will use this data. More on BBC

Checking Out? Tip with Voice

Guests can now use voice commands to leave tips in hotels with smart devices powered by Volara, which provides voice-based hospitality solutions. By integrating the capabilities of youtip — a company that makes contactless tipping software — into Google Nest Hubs and Alexa speakers, guests can either scan a QR code on the smart display or ask Alexa to leave a tip, bypassing both leaving cash tips and downloading additional apps. As a result, this new update streamlines the tipping process to be easily accessible while also promoting touchless interactions during the pandemic. Moving forward, digital solutions that leverage voice technology provide opportunity for the hospitality industry to enhance the guest experience. More on HospitalityNet

Hey Google, Turn the News Off

Verizon Fios recently integrated Google Assistant into its TV services. With this partnership, viewers can navigate channels and search for shows and movies using voice commands with Google Assistant. This isn’t the TV provider’s first voice feature — back in 2018, Fios introduced an Alexa integration that allowed users to control their TVs through Alexa devices or the Fios remote. With more people leveraging their smart speakers to command their smart home products, voice-enabled TVs from brands including Samsung, Verizon, and LG are embracing voice as a way to provide more value and at-home utility to their consumers. More on Voicebot.ai

Stats Don’t Lie

65% of global business professionals said that voice is likely to be considered in their business’ 5-year strategy. (data via Speechmatics)

29% increase in listening to AM/FM radio on smart speakers since 2018.
data from Triton Digital via Radio Ink)

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ICMYI: RAIN is Hiring a Senior Product Engineer

RAIN is looking for a Senior Product Engineer to join our team! This person will serve as a pivotal founding member of our product team to set and execute the engineering strategy and product vision for a hands-free conversational AI solution designed for the deskless workforce. 

Passionate about voice technology and enterprise solutions? Apply here.