Voicebot’s Bret Kinsella invited CEO and Founder Dr. Patricia Scanlon to share her predictions for 2021 alongside 50 other global voice industry leaders. We’ve excerpted Patricia’s key predictions below. You’ll find the full Voicebot piece here.

Prediction 1: The Rise and Rise of Kidtech:

“2020 saw massive growth in kidtech: apps, web services, smart toys and other technology offerings that are built specifically for kids. We expect to see a lot more kidtech in 2021 because while kids are using more and more technology, for the most part it’s still a poor and clunky experience for them. 

Great voice UX will allow kids to bypass complex menu systems and instructions, and interact with technology in an intuitive and natural way, even before they can read instructions or labels. SoapBox Labs’ expertise in voice UX will help ensure that our entertainment and toy clients are at the forefront of this kidtech revolution”. 

Prediction 2: The Shift to Independent Voice Providers:

“Increasing parental privacy concerns meant that the range of voice-powered toy and app experiences in the market remained limited in 2020. 

Entertainment and education companies also started to move away from large ecosystem players in 2020 (Amazon and Google specifically) to partner with independent, privacy first voice providers. I predict that shift by brands to independent providers – for reasons of privacy, flexibility and longer term product partnerships – will gain momentum in 2021”.

Prediction 3: Moving Offline:

“In 2021, we’ll see a surge in new voice-enabled, offline kid-specific products that take advantage of the increased availability of high performance offline smart device and embedded chip solutions. 

By definition, offline solutions remove the need to send data to the cloud for processing which will also alleviate parental privacy concerns. 

Household name brands will drive this trend and the result within the next 12 to 18 months will be many more voice-powered interactive toys, games and robots on the market for kids”.

2021 and Beyond:

“It’s hard to imagine a future where voice isn’t a key feature in all kids learning tools, games, devices, and experiences. Voice tech for kids allows technology interactions that are either not possible or are severely limited without voice. For kids, voice is a need more than a want. I therefore believe that companies focused on voice-enabled kids’ products will soon become the most influential companies in the voice space”.

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