The word ‘contactless’ has truly become the most used word in this pandemic riddled world. If I could get a penny each time someone said they needed a contactless service, I’d probably make quite the fortune by the end of 2021. However, since no one is dropping dimes like that, I’ll almost certainly stick to doing what I do best: web and mobile app development. And since the new baby on the block is ‘Virtual Assistant Apps for Android and iOS’, let us go straight toward it.
Table of Content
- So, what is voice technology?
- Top Voice Assistant Apps
- Cab Booking Using Voice Assistant Apps
- How does a Cab Booking app work with voice assistance?
- Is Voice Assistant just useful for private transportation?
- The cinch in the armor
- Taking it a step further
- Bringing up rear
Human to machine interaction is the name of the game today. Even before we were in this abysmal degradation of the human civilization better known as CoVid 19, our reliance on machines, Artificial Intelligence to be specific, was on the rise. Now when people don’t really want to touch things anymore, it has become even more important for us to be able to accept the evolutionary wave of wholehearted dependence on AI.
Cab booking using voice assistant apps is quite the novelty these days. The need to move physically from one place to another cannot be replaced by video conferencing in every sphere. This is where physical mobility becomes a challenge. Apart from taking all sorts of precautions while the actual travel is underway, today, people are tasked with a state of constant vigilance.
There is hardly any room to debate the fact that lives have become uber complicated these days. With too little time and too much to accomplish within that time frame, voice assistants have crept into our lives as a third hand with another opposable thumb. It separates us from the rest of the creatures, because we can command a device to complete an action for us without physically moving a muscle (unless you are a scientist and want to claim that speaking also involves muscle movement. We get that.)
So, what is voice technology?
If you are alive in 2021, then you probably know what voice assistants are. Voice recognizing technologies have been around since the 90’s but they did lack that je ne se qua because they couldn’t interact with you.
You could give them a command and it would fulfill it within a limited capacity but with Siri and Alexa, things have taken a completely different turn. AI has now transcended from being one that only recognizes your voice and takes commands but to something that is actually intelligent and can respond to you.
What started as an experimental futuristic idea is estimated to scale over $27 billion by 2025. Whether it is asking your personal digital handheld assistant to set your alarm for next morning, or to remind you of your Yoga classes, to play your favorite songs or even to find out what the weather is like where you are traveling to, your voice assistant has got it covered.
Top Voice Assistant Apps
Google Assistant is essentially a virtual assistant voice app for Android OS. But, since we live in the times of overachievers, it is also available as an individual app for iOS. The way this works is by listening to and recognizing the voice of the human but leaving scope for you to type in your query, in case it has a problem with understanding the dialect or accent.
If you are like me (or like Raj from the Big Bang Theory), you’ve probably fallen in love with Siri at least once in your life. Siri is Apple’s Voice Assistant App. It can follow commands, give recommendations and even indulge in a conversation with you!
Alexa is the one that became really popular. Built by Amazon, and equipped with its own army of devices, Alexa pretty much shone as the ‘be all end all’ virtual assistant that interpreted, accepted and performed as per your commands. It can also support home automation in addition to performing the tasks that other voice apps do.
There’s a reason Cortana is the last one that we’ll be talking about. While it does cater to a whole laundry list of functions, it hasn’t become too popular over time. Cortana was developed and built by Microsoft. They like to call it a ‘productivity assistant’ rather than a voice assistant. Has a nice ring to it! It does perform sophisticated searches and other business-wise tasks, but it could most certainly never match up with the big boys in this sphere.
Cab Booking Using Voice Assistant Apps
Here’s one thing I never thought I’d say: I think the voice assistant knows what’s best for me. I say this because not only can the modern voice assistance features of cab booking apps allow you to hire taxis, they can also update you on the weather of the location that you are traveling to, the estimated cost of the trip, recommend an itinerary for the stay and so on and so forth.
Like I said in the beginning, AI has truly evolved into an intelligent being with the capacity of assessing our requirement and recommending what we should be doing in order to ensure that our travel is as smooth as we’d hope for it to be.
How does a Cab Booking app work with voice assistance?
So, basically, you pull out your smart device, and you simply ask Google Assistant to get you a ride by saying, “Hey Google, get me a ride to….” Or “Hey Google, book a taxi to…”. That’s it. You are done. Easy peasy japaneasy!
But wait! That’s not it. The cherry on the pie is the fact that it not only allows you to book a cab but to select the cab booking app that you want o get the ride from. So, you can choose whether you want to ride an Uber cab, a Lyft cab, a Go-Jek bike and so on and so forth. If you aren’t too sure about which cab service you want to go for, Google Assistant will also give you the difference in fare across different taxi services operating in the area.
And don’t worry. It’s not like you make the booking blind. When you give Google Assistant this command, it gets back to you with the estimated fare of the trip, the tentative time of arrival and the type of rides available.
Once you have made your selection, the voice assistant will make the booking for you and even empower you with an online (voice assisted) payment option. This feature is available in almost all smart phones. While the app is pre integrated on Android devices, it is also accessible as a standalone app in iOS devices.
While this feature is a blessing regardless of the pandemic, it has most certainly gotten latent propulsion owing to it. For example, cab booking using voice assistant apps is useful not only when you have all hands on deck trying to prepare your breakfast, getting ready for work, and preparing a shopping list in the morning all at the same time, but imagine if you are out for some really urgent work amid the pandemic and are forced to use a public (say office) phone in order to book your ride. Why would you want to touch a device that a thousand unknown hands have probably touched when you can simply ask your phone to do it?
Rely on the stats
As of 2019, before the mayhem of CoVid 19 touched our lives, voice assistants had already gained a lot of momentum. Almost 70% of users admitted to using Voice Assistant apps on their smart phones, while 49% of business owners promised to dabble with it in the immediate future.
This itself is indicative of the growing curve of human to machine interaction and dependency. Simply put, we are busy. We want assistance at every step and with the evolution going the way it is, a developer’s job is to be able to integrate seamless technological solutions to facilitate the end user achieve ‘ease’.
Is Voice Assistant just useful for private transportation?
Nope. Please understand that the role of Virtual Voice Assistants is to listen to what you are saying, recognize the voice it is being said it, gauge the expectation of the user and then provide recommendations or results. This means that Google Assistant can not only help you to book private taxis, but to also get schedules of public transports, say busses, trains and flights.
Apart from just getting your details that allow you to book the ride without raising a finger, voice assistants will allow you to get details on:
a. The most conducive route to your destination
b. The most time efficient itinerary for your stay
c. The weather at your destination
d. Recommendations for what you should pack in case of a longer stay
Think of it as a sweet grandma! She knows best.
The cinch in the armor
Sadly, not everything about cab booking using virtual voice assistants is as seamless. There is a teeny tiny cinch in the armor. So, while Google Assistant is available for booking cabs across the globe to any country with these ride sharing platforms, it is only available in English. So, for countries, where the first language isn’t English, this is not something that they can enjoy just yet. However, Google does promise to roll out this feature in different global languages very soon and hey, we trust Google, don’t we?
Taking it a step further
By now, I’m pretty sure you’re already super impressed with the majestic prowess of the Google Assistant, but here’s one more thing to awe you completely. Apart from just booking cabs using voice assistants, you can also book hotel rooms!
Bringing up rear
All things considered, we are rapidly moving towards a more AI dependent future. If you have seen Netflix’s Brave New World, you may be a little skeptical because eventually Indra goes stark staring loony, but in the world we live in doesn’t have enough Soma and thankfully, Automated Contactless Voice Assisted Cab booking is a blessing.
Google Assistant is developing each day and surprising us with how much it can help us in our daily lives. For all the developers out there, this might be something that you want to try. For the entrepreneurs, well, if you really want to make it sweet for your users and customers, it is time to introduce a voice enabled feature in your apps. You can link it with Google Assistant to be able to draw out the best performance of your business application while ensuring its relevance with respect to the modern times.
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