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Virtual Assistants and the Ambient Intelligent World

Owing to its current and future success, it’s the key players in the virtual assistant (VA) industry that are creating AI that is even more responsive and helpful to the consumer than its competitors.   

The rise of virtual assistants (VA) From smartphones to home appliances and cars, it’s likely you have at least one virtual assistant in your possession, but have we seen the full potential of this leading audio technology? 

The Development of Virtual Assistants 

Prioritising developments in the conversational ability of virtual assistants, the VA market will continually expand as technology evolves and upgrades will be implemented to existing and new products that are being released. 

At Audio Collaborative 2022, Futuresource Consulting’s annual industry event, we will be looking at virtual assistants as part of our voice update panel. Taking place at the Ham Yard hotel on the 10th of November, our team of expert analysts will be considering the development of virtual assistants within the audio tech industry.

Virtual assistant technology isn’t new. However, the margins to which it can revolutionise the way we use appliances and products have barely scraped the surface. Focus has traditionally been on developing existing AI in virtual assistants, but opportunities are endless with how advanced VA could be in the future.

The role of voice is crucial in VA as it controls emphasis, facilitates language, and conveys emotion. If the AI attached was programmed with emotional intelligence and a platform to maintain knowledge of past conversations, virtual assistants would be able to better construct reasoning and situational awareness. That being said, the conversational ability of virtual assistants is improving every day, through cloud-based AI features, such as contextual awareness.

This is not to say it can be done overnight as privacy concerns and regulations would inevitably prevent the ease of this development. However, it is a technological advancement that is being continually refined. 

The Ambient Intelligent World

The key players in the virtual assistant industry are preparing for the ambient intelligent world, which is one whereby voice technology is part of a pervasive environment that enables it to interact and respond to the needs of humans in that environment. 

Ambient intelligent technology means the device, like most virtual assistants, is always on and receptive to human voice and other variables. Outside of the most common settings in which we imagine virtual assistants and ambient intelligence, they can also be used in automated environments to assess conditions, interact with other devices, perform management functions, and transmit data externally.

So, what does this mean for the virtual assistant industry? In the age of ambient intelligence, virtual assistants become smarter and more powerful leading to their popularity and the adoption of VA technology into more products, growing their market value exponentially. 

How is the Market Holding up?

Recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the virtual assistant market will see a drop in revenue throughout 2022. With supply chain issues still happening and the global economy deteriorating these are factors contributing to a relatively flat year of sales in voice-enabled products. With an expected 2.1 billion units worldwide, the year-on-year growth is a mere 2%. 

All this to say, however, Futuresource maintains a positive outlook for virtual assistants throughout the forecast period, predicting that almost three out of every four products sold will feature some form of voice capability by 2026. 

Audio Collaborative 2022

As virtual assistant development continues to proceed at a rapid pace our analysts here at Futuresource are ready to give their insights for the forecast period on how the landscape of this industry is set to change. To hear from experts discussing the next steps for the virtual assistant industry in relation to AI/ML, edge versus device processing, and brand-specific services, make sure to book your place at Audio Collaborative 2022 today. We can’t wait to welcome you to the Ham Yard hotel on the 10th of November to discuss all things audio technology. 

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About the author

Katie Biddle

Audio Collaborative 2022 returns to London!

10th November | Ham Yard Hotel, London

Join us for Audio Collaborative 2022, where we will explore the evolution of audio and embrace the creativity, strategy and development of technology across the entire space.​ Audio Collaborative brings together delegates from some of the leading companies in the industry, providing sponsors with the opportunity to showcase their brand and products in the presence of an influential audience. 

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