American digital agency AKQA has released The Snowfox, a voice-activated digital storybook for children. Instead of using visual triggers and tap navigation, the tale progresses as the child reads the text on-screen out loud. The app achieves this by using Apple's SiriKit, which gives apps access to Siri voice interaction technology.
Voice interfaces are on the rise. Sales of Amazon Echo connected home devices are estimated to have reached five million units (CIRP, 2016), spawning consumer demand for voice-based user experiences beyond simple selection and yes/no commands.
Earlier this month, Adweek reported that US media conglomerate Hearst had launched a dedicated 10-person team to develop voice-interface experiences. A recent product from Hearst in this field is an Amazon Echo Skill from Good Housekeeping Magazine that gives step-by-step instructions for stain removal. It also delivers a soundtrack to scrub to.
Audio formats like podcasts and content for the growing connected car market will obviously profit from voice interfaces. However, over-the-top smart TV system Roku just started exploring TV viewers' multitasking skills with a visually interactive ad for BMW. This indicates hands-free voice interfaces could enhance interaction and personalisation across all content channels.
To read more about the emergence voice interfaces, see our report from Business Insider's Ignition 2016 in New York. For more on what's coming down the pipeline in media and marketing, check out our Look Ahead 2017 and our video report Pop Culture Year in Review: 10 Trends for 2017.