2021 Voice Predictions Reviewed

Our 2021 Voice Predictions Reviewed: Were they correct?

John Campbell

Managing Director & Co founder

It’s time for the annual Voice Predictions Review! At the end of each year, our Rabbit & Pork MD, John Campbell makes his predictions for Voice which he thinks will be carried out in the following year.

So, with a whole year of potential technology advances, were John’s predictions correct?

As per last year, we’ll be using a points system which we’ve borrowed from Moz.

Nailed It (+2) – When a prediction is right on the money and the primary criteria are fulfilled
Partially Accurate (+1) – Predictions that are in the ballpark, but are somewhat different than reality
Not Completely Wrong (-1) – Those that got near the truth, but are more “incorrect” than “correct”
Way Off (-2) – Guesses which didn’t come close

Watch the video below or read below.

Amazon / Alexa Predictions for 2021

1. Amazon will launch a VR headset with Alexa as your host – VR headset from Amazon where you can use Alexa in a similar fashion to echo frames.

Way Off (-2)

2. Voice profiles can start to be used on other devices – Currently voice profiles are restricted to your own devices. What could happen is that voice profiles move with you so that you can get your “version” of Alexa on another device at someone else’s house. This could work by being on the same Wifi as an extra authentication. Ideally with use case being able to use Alexa’s in shops etc.

Way Off (-2)

3. New ways to generate revenue with Alexa Skills – So far we have ISP but I can see some changes here, either the % of ISP changes or thresholds change e.g. earn 100% of ISP up to £xxxx.xx per month (hat tip to Ilarna in the UK voice lunch for mentioning this). Or related to selling physical products, you’ll be able to purchase products from Amazon in a skill session with you earning a commission.

Nailed It (+2)

Skill you can now pay for access for rather than just paying for content or items in the skill. We’ve also seen an increased share of ISP to 80% from 70% for some developers. 

 

Google Predictions for 2021

1. Google will launch a new screen-based device aimed at WFH / Home Video calls – Bigger screen, multi-camera and maybe something around the movement of the device.

Partially Accurate (+1)

Nest Hub (2nd generation) launched but we also saw Google’s Project Starline see the video below.

2. Google will launch a replacement for implicit invocation – Here Google will not suggest the “opening of an action” but instead will start to connect to APIs to complete a service for the user, the user will be guided by the google assistant, never really opening a “3rd party action.”

Way Off (-2)

3. Google will launch product buying via the assistant – Google Shopping is now free, from our voice search ranking reports we know Google struggles with “buy” key phrases reverting to local listings. In the future, Google will be able to suggest products from Google Shopping.

Way Off (-2)

 

Apple Predictions for 2021

1. Apple will launch an equivalent to actions, skills and capsules – However, it will be restricted to certain verticals, rigorous approval processes and also, be heavily integrated with the existing app ecosystem (you have to have an existing iOS app). Apple doesn’t want the app store model to die hence the integration with existing apps at some level.

Way Off (-2)

2. Apple will launch a home pod with a screen – Trying to cash in on the video calling from home a new version will allow you to make calls to other iPhone devices

Way Off (-2)

3. Siri to duplicate Duplex – You’ll be able to start to use Siri to make reservations, check opening times etc, very much the same as Duplex with Google.

Way Off (-2)

 

General Industry Predictions 2021

1. New types of connected devices influx – Not washing machines, alarms, plugs but new devices toys, games, sporting equipment will start to use the Alexa Gadgets Kit to be part of the voice experience where the user opens a skill and then uses the device to interact.

Not Completely Wrong (-1)

2. Voice interactive stories on Netflix / Prime / Google Chromecast / Disney + – We’ve seen interactive stories on Netflix already where the user clicks but with more voice control I can see this moving to voice. There are companies already doing this such as https://www.earplay.com/ but the prediction is for this to come to one of the big platforms.

Partially Accurate (+1)

Netflix added a voice assistant with SoundHound, see the article below.

Netflix Taps SoundHound to Develop Voice Assistant for TV Set-Top Boxes

Netflix will add a voice assistant provided by SoundHound to its new Da Vinci Reference Design Kit (RDK) product. Smart TV set-top manufacturers won’t have to create their own voice assistant; instead, they can integrate Netflix’s software already augmented with SoundHound’s voice AI to Gaming.

3. Voice control out of the home – Due to covid we’ll see in the UK a major retailer/transport/entertainment company launch kiosk/ordering with Voice to avoid touching a screen.

Partially Accurate (+1) 

Example: McDonald’s have 10 drive-throughs in Chicago where this is present.

 

So what is the overall score?…

-12 Overall Score! (Let’s hope for a better score next year)

 

Stay posted for John’s 2022 predictions!

John Campbell

Managing Director & Co founder

John founded Rabbit & Pork as the third agency and Voice Experience arm of TIPi Group. John has developed and launched several Google Actions and Skills, presented at several voice events around the UK, spoken on the VUX podcast and authored multiple whitepapers.
Rabbit & Pork are part of TIPi Group