How Developments in Voice Search Will Impact Data Centers
By: Kayla Matthews on February 10, 2020
Only a decade ago, the concept of being able to speak a prompt into a phone and get a response only seconds later was straight out of futuristic movies. But, that's precisely the way voice search functions.
As people become more accustomed to and reliant on searching for things with their voices, the trend will impact data centers. Here are five recent developments in voice search and how they relate to data centers.
1. Voice Search Supports Patient Empowerment
Health care facilities are among the latest organizations exploring the power of voice apps to help patients instantly get the information they need.
For example, Colorado's UC Health system debuted a voice search app that lets people find information about doctors, get the location of the nearest urgent care facility or learn about a particular illness. Soon, the app will also connect to individual patient records so people can find out about test results or their next appointments.
Data from Statista collected from 2012 to 2018 showed that most doctors in the U.S. saw from 11-20 patients per day.
Consider a practice with multiple doctors working in it or a hospital employing potentially dozens of physicians and it's easy to see how medical-based voice apps could increase the demands placed on data centers. The strain could be particularly great during flu season or when people are worried about new illness outbreaks.
2. Electric Vehicle Information Is Available Via Voice Search
Despite the potential of electric vehicles, many people balk at buying them. Perhaps that's because finding the information they need is too cumbersome. Wavemaker, a media technology company, found through its research that about 20,000 electric car voice queries per month are answered incorrectly or not at all. That's why it launched an electric car voice search app in the United Kingdom.
It answers approximately 50 questions about cost, car charging and more. The hope is that making accurate electric car information accessible via voice will encourage more people to buy the vehicles.
Electric vehicles only comprise a small overall segment of the market for now. However, facilities that handle voice search data for their clients must pay attention to marketplace trends, as well as localized pushes to purchase those cars and thereby feel more compelled to use the app. For example, a limited-time tax credit could cause a short-term usage surge within a given area.
3. Voice Searches Can Give Lottery Results
There was a time when lottery players primarily found out if they won by watching live television draws. Now, they can use voice commands to do the same, courtesy of an Alexa command. It's also possible for users to find out when the next draw for a particular game happens. People can get details for multistate games, such as Powerball, if they use the Virginia Lottery's voice search, for example.
People can play Powerball in most U.S. states, and the data center strain would likely be most intensive when people want to find out the results of those high-profile games. Or, if a state offers a new game that people can learn about via voice search, its introduction could cause a spike in information management needs.
4. Voice Search Helps People Get Informed About Election Results
Beginning in October 2018, Amazon announced that people could use Alexa devices to get updates about elections. An election year is gearing up in the United States, and voice search capabilities facilitate finding the latest results, getting polling station hours and more. Even if a person does not have a smart speaker, they can perform voice queries with smartphone apps, like Google Assistant.
Although many political enthusiasts debate election topics constantly, there is an identifiable pattern that the broader public falls regarding their elections interest.
For example, the desire to learn about it rises when caucuses, primaries and elections are a few weeks away. Data center managers will need to stay aware of those shifts, as well as the timing at which elections happen in a country or state, and ensure the respective infrastructure can handle the demand.
5. Brands Can Release Alexa Skills With Custom Voices
Amazon recently announced that people who use Alexa skills can now hear the app reply in custom voices. Australia National Bank and fast-food brand KFC are two brands that took advantage of Amazon's custom voice capabilities.
However, the bank used the voice to respond to people contacting its call center. KFC customers in Canada will hear Colonel Sanders talk to them when ordering food through Alexa.
It's unclear how many brands will launch custom voices to engage with people who use voice-recognition apps. However, this feature is just one more example of how voice search data is getting more complex. Data center professionals need to account for that technological growth as they ensure their facilities are equipped to meet clients' needs.
Voice Search Developments Worth Watching
These five voice search trends show there are clear links between voice search traffic and data center capabilities.
As people continue to embrace voice search opportunities, the professionals working in facilities that handle voice search data must monitor the trends and recognize when it's time to scale up operations.
About Kayla Matthews
Kayla Matthews writes about data centers and big data for several industry publications, including The Data Center Journal, Data Center Frontier and insideBIGDATA. To read more posts from Kayla, you can follower her personal tech blog at ProductivityBytes.com.