A common question we get asked is about the difference between personal or consumer voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, Google Voice, Cortana, etc. and our industrial voice systems. After all, most people, especially younger generations in the workforce, are already familiar with personal voice assistants. We use Alexa to order things from Amazon, Siri to pull up directions, and Google Voice to search the web. However, these personal voice assistants don’t always work as well as we might like. Here are four of the most common complaints about personal voice assistants:
- My voice assistant turns on when I didn’t say anything or ask it to
- My voice assistant won’t turn on when I ask it something
- My voice assistant constantly mishears me, especially in noisy environments
- My voice assistant takes a long time to process what I say
It’s easy for us to say that none of these problems affect our voice system (and it’s true!) but how does it work?
At a basic level, voice recognition software “hears” speech by converting sound waves to patterns and then comparing the pattern of speech to its database for a match. Unfortunately, this can lead to some issues.
On one hand, even though things sound completely different to us, the image of two sounds might look quite similar to your voice assistant. This can cause it to turn on for sound completely unrelated to its activation command. Ever had your voice assistant turn on randomly when you were home alone? Or been grocery shopping and a nearby conversation triggered activation? It’s a bit of an annoying experience.
On the other hand, sometimes a tiny variation in how we say a word might sound wildly different to your voice assistant, causing it to not turn on even for a carefully spoken activation word. Saying “hey Siri” over and over again to an unresponsive phone gets frustrating fast.
Mountain Leverage voice systems have a major advantage over consumer voice assistants when it comes to activation. The headsets and software we use are designed with the express purpose of collecting speech recognition data, making understanding far more accurate. Consumer microphones are typically used for a wide variety of applications, from letting you use the phone to listening to background music to determine the song. This flexibility can be great for personal use, but when it comes to industrial use, tailored hardware is key!
Noisy Environment? No Problem
Knowing that our headsets are tailored to speech recognition is great, but how do they still work in higher noise environments? Forklifts and pallet trucks consistently generate noise in excess of 85 decibels in addition to the drone of A/C units, fans, and other background noise.
Our technology handles this heavy background noise with the ingenious use of multiple microphones. A primary microphone faces the user and picks up voice commands and responses. A second microphone faces away from the user and listens to all the noise going on around the user. The two microphones then combine their data to cancel out the noise from the second microphone. This means that the voice system can listen to speech without getting bogged down by background noise, or even by commands of other workers nearby!
Consistent High Performance
How about speed? What makes Mountain Leverage voice faster than consumer applications? The answer boils down to specificity. Consumer voice must listen for all kinds of commands on top of figuring out what the user wants. Is the user asking for directions or trying to send an email? Mountain Leverage voice, on the other hand, is custom built for your workflow. For the most part, the voice system prompts the worker, rather than the other way around. This means the voice system has a much narrower range of responses expected. Instead of scanning thousands of words in its database for a match, our voice system only has to scan a few words, such as yes or no, or a string of numbers. There’s never any ambiguity to slow down the voice recognition process.
Easy Improvements, Fast ROI
Though your employees might be disappointed they can’t order a pizza with Mountain Leverage voice, they’ll love being given technology they’re already familiar with, but with none of the hang-ups they’re tired of. Our voice solutions can improve productivity, reduce labor costs, and provide an extremely fast return on investment. Ready to learn more about implementing voice recognition in your warehouse or distribution center? Schedule a free discovery call today.