Print.IT - issue 47 - page 34

01732 759725
into context. Location awareness
could indicate you mean Green
Park in London and help make
assumptions about transportation
mode. If you were sitting at
Piccadilly Circus, the answer could
be ‘Take one stop, Westbound, on
the Piccadilly line’. But what if you
meant Green Park in Manchester or
The search for a deeper meaning
The real challenge lies in what’s
behind the voice recognition system
– from the integration of IoT devices
to the system itself – and in
ensuring that requested commands
make sense. To achieve this, we
need to use cognitive engines as a
check and validation system.
Think of someone accidentally
giving a command to ‘Turn off
cooling system to reactor 4’,
instead of reactor 3, or of a doctor
using the system to prescribe
a harmful dose of medication
because he accidently said 400
grams instead of 400 milligrams.
There will need to be a holistic
view of actions being automated to
prevent human error and broader
intelligence to understand the
actions related to voice-controlled
requests. For example, even if ‘Turn
off cooling system to reactor 4’ was
correct, the system would need to
understand a set of operational
procedures to implement the
Creating an API platform for true
voice integrated solutions
An interesting element that
could tie in strategically with
the development of true voice-
controlled enterprise environments
comes from innovations in the
traditional voice communication
world, where we are seeing an
explosion of CPaaS (Communication
Platform as-a-Service), which uses
APIs to integrate voice into other
Some major voice
communication vendors are now
entering this market, providing
CPaaS infrastructures with a
standardised set of APIs that
enable companies to integrate
communications into their business
While we traditionally look at
integration in terms of incorporating
voice and video services into
existing applications – think of a
banking application that allows
you to move from an online
application to a voice call with a
banking advisor – I believe these
will play a big part in a ‘voice-first’
environment by leveraging the rich
API infrastructure of CPaaS to
communicate with applications and
How CPaaS and other platforms
communicate with devices really
needs to be standardised before
we see rapid development of voice
technology. All today’s consumer-
based voice-controlled systems
have their own interfaces, their
own API integrations and, as with
the Beta vs. VHS battle from
decades ago, the potential for
product obsolescence. Just as a
consumer doesn’t want to invest
in the latest smart coffee maker
only to see the platform that
controls it be discontinued, so an
enterprise wants to make sure
that the investment it makes in
new technologies won’t become
obsolete before it is able to realise
a return.
The good news is that there
is a set of technologies in the
works to help minimise potential
obsolescence, with frameworks like
IoTivity being developed to build a
standardised platform.
The best is yet to come
We are already seeing the value,
benefits and rapid expansion
of new voice applications for
consumers, and in the near term
we will see basic use cases move
into the enterprise. Longer term,
as advances continue to be made
in voice recognition, voice security
and simplification/standardisation
in device connectivity, we will
see more and more voice-first
activities in both the consumer
and enterprise world, helping to
reduce complexity and improve our
Craig Walker is Director of Cloud
Services at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise
(ALE). He has more than 25
years’ experience in publicly held
telecommunication companies,
start-up ventures and within the
partner environment. He has been
with ALE since the acquisition of
Xylan Corporation in 2000, where he
was Technical Director EMEA.
Hands-free simplicity
Is voice the answer to office productivity?
Anyone who has ever struggled with copier
settings and wished for an easier way of
completing complex copy jobs will appreciate the
Vision-e Voice app for Xerox ConnectKey MFPs,
including the new VersaLink and AltaLink series.
The solution, which combines
voice recognition technology ,
an MFP app and an Amazon Dot
speaker, lets you interact with an
MFP through spoken requests,
such as ‘Please make 20 double-
sided copies’, ‘Please scan and
email to Mike Jones’ or ‘Please
request a service call’.
The MFP talks back through Amazon Dot, giving
answers to questions like ‘Is there enough paper to
complete this job?’.
Vision-e Voice is not just useful for people with
disabilities. By providing a quick and easy way to
request information, such as toner levels, or to
initiate multi-step processes, such as scanning
and emailing, it has the potential to improve the
productivity of all employees.
Another new voice-enabled application that
provides users with instant access to information
has just been launched by BrightHR.
It has integrated its people management
software with Amazon Alexa, creating a virtual
assistant who can answer absence-related queries,
such as ‘Alexa, ask BrightHR who is out today?’ and
‘Alexa, ask BrightHR is Dave out on October 23rd?’.
Alastair Brown, Chief Technical Officer at
BrightHR, said: “There’s no need to switch to
browsers or open an app either. People can
keep working while they ask Alexa a question.
At the heart of this is the drive to reduce people
workloads. Voice is a much more natural way to
interact and if voice technologies continue to
develop further this is likely to transform the way
businesses interact.”
He added: “At BrightHR HQ, on top of keeping up
to date with who’s out of the office, Alexa is being
used as a brew roulette where it decides who’s turn
it is to make teas and coffees for their team. This
is decided simply by saying ‘Alexa, ask BrightHR
1...,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33 35,36
Powered by FlippingBook