Voice is the future. This is an adage that has been repeated for years now, it is also the basis for a lot of the inventions that you see today in the technology world. More devices have voice recognition capabilities than ever before and it is not just limited to mobile phones.
Cars, and home appliances are picking up the same technology. There is a great appeal that comes from using your voice to command devices and power up machines.
Much as the use of voice is growing around the world, it is not so prominent in Africa. It appears to be dragging on our continent and this is a problem that needs to be addressed. Africa has been identified as the next frontier of investment and just like Voice, Africa has been called the future, so why is this futuristic tech not here yet?
When you look at the major drivers of voice such as Google, Apple and Siri, their devices are designed to suit the the Americas, Europe and some of the Asian markets not so much Africa, but that’s not to say that there is nothing that can be done. Here is how to fix Africa’s underwhelming voice penetration
As a Ugandan that has tried to use Google Assistant and Siri which are the major voice drivers at my disposal, it is difficult to get these devices to understand what you are saying.
It is true that it has been difficult for voice operated systems to understand human speech, but in the recent years, this has changed a lot so, that means the problem is more to do with the accent.
Africa has a lot of languages and accents, all these voice recognition systems are designed and tested by people in the western world. So, naturally their accent is the default and when one uses an African accent things get very tricky.
If these tech giants can use their resources to incorporate the various accents into their systems then we could be one step closer to voice working for Africa.
Besides English, I have not seen another language that is compatible with voice activated devices at least with the case of Google Assistant, Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. It would be a lot better for the African market if more languages can be included to these systems.
Google has been able to translate lots of languages with their translate service, so how about doing that for voice. Come on Google!
Author: Daniel Odaka
Daniel is a writer and communications expert with a love for tech, science and cars. He believes tech is a lifestyle and we all live it in the way we communicate, work, move and go about our lives. To maintain a lifestyle you need to keep on top of it and that’s where he comes in