Sonde Health and Qualcomm Scale Voice Biometric Tech on Mobile
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The Future of Healthcare Is Voice Biometrics
Voice profiling is already making its way onto the radar of marketers at major companies — Spotify patented technology to read listeners’ emotions through their voice. However, a more immediate compelling use case of voice analysis technology is for healthcare. Wearables like Fitbit and Apple Watch are already widely used to glean health insights related to heart rate and fitness, but voice technology can unearth hidden abnormalities rooted in our voices. University of Washington researchers found that assistants may be able to identify those having heart attacks, and Mayo Clinic explored how high blood pressure can be detected from voice recordings. In the future, voice has the potential to catch life-threatening conditions before they become deadly. But with heightened concerns around what exactly our assistants listen to, voice biometric providers must evaluate how they can instill trust in consumers.
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Voice biometrics company Sonde Health is partnering with Qualcomm Technologies to integrate its voice biomarker technology into Qualcomm’s mobile platforms. With the collaboration, mobile devices with the software will be able to detect health conditions like asthma, respiratory illnesses, and even the early onset of COVID-19. As a result, users can continually monitor their health if they opt in to the feature. This partnership, along with Vocalis Health’s COVID-19 voice screening tool, indicates the arrival of a voice biometrics-driven healthcare future with big implications for both patients and companies. At the same time, the maturation of these technologies raises the need for more guidelines and standards around ethical use. More on BusinessWire
Alexa’s Social Awakening
Amazon launched new features on its Echo Show smart displays. First, users can record and send videos to their friends and family. By saying, “Alexa, record video,” they can then direct Alexa to send the recordings to their Alexa contacts who also have Echo Show devices. Additionally, the AI-powered ‘Daily Memories’ feature picks pictures from the user’s photo album to display on the screen. These upgrades highlight how Amazon is trying to frame Alexa as not only a valuable assistant for everyday tasks, but also a vehicle for connecting and communicating with friends and family. More on Voicebot.ai
Fill It Up
Automotive voice company Cerence partnered with Ryd Pay to bring voice-enabled gas station payments to European drivers. Drivers with cars that leverage Cerence voice assistants can use voice commands to pay for gas. For security, the technology’s speech recognition confirms the transaction. As in-car assistants become ubiquitous, hands-free voice commerce is a natural extension of the assistant, especially as drivers travel to and from destinations such as coffee shops, grocery stores, and more. Drivers in the US can already use Alexa for payments at Exxon and Mobil gas stations and Siri at 7-Eleven, so Cerence’s international expansion is bringing custom assistants into the voice commerce space. More on Mobile ID World
By The Numbers
80% of current voice consumers are using voice to search for product and service information. (data via Vixen Labs)
21% The percentage that the global smart speaker market is projected to grow from 2020-2025. (data via Counterpoint Research)
Emerging Tech Stories
- The Enterprise Era. From farming to warehousing to retail, opportunities abound for voice when employees aren’t tethered to a browser or laptop.
- Not Only for Steps. Fitbit data including heart rate, sleep duration, and fitness levels was used to identify long-term health changes in those diagnosed with COVID.
- Move Over, Roomba. Samsung launched its new Bespoke Jet Bot AI+ robot vacuum that users can control with voice commands.