By Vixen Labs / October 13, 2020 / Expert POV
COVID-19 has forced us to look again at how we work – and continues to make us think twice about actions that were once second nature. Here's how voice technology can help us find unexpected solutions to new problems...
Woman wearing headphones and exemplifying how voice could lead to a touches workday.

Is the touchless workday in reach?

From using the door handle to pressing the lift button, communicating with colleagues to arranging desks, shared working spaces are presenting challenges we had rarely previously considered. But challenges they most certainly are; and not unsolvable ones, at that. We’ve had a go at envisaging what the workday of the future could look like.

Going beyond hygiene in the office and imagining a total overhaul to create the touchless workday, here are six ways voice first technology could change the office job as we know it.

Commuting to the office

As you prepare to leave home for the day, a smart speaker reads out the morning’s news headlines. It follows the headlines with a suggestion of the train times based on your calendar. You use your voice to reserve a seat.

On your walk to the station, you ask a virtual assistant through headphones to check the train times. It’s a few minutes behind schedule, so you instruct an app to place an order for coffee, which you pick up from a separate window.

Arriving at your workspace

Uttering a passcode to a listening device a few feet from the door means it opens as you approach. Queuing is a thing of the past, meaning social distancing guidelines are always followed.

The building’s contactless pathway continues inside. You tell the lift which floor to take you to. Reaching your desk, you instruct the smart plugs. Your computer, lamp, and multimodal devices switch on.

Touchless technologies in shared use areas

Putting the kettle on, opening the fridge, putting the dishwasher on, using the microwave or coffee machine – all these actions used to involve touch, but are now easily completed using your voice or gestures.

“ALL THESE ACTIONS USED TO INVOLVE TOUCH, BUT ARE NOW EASILY COMPLETED USING YOUR VOICE.” 

Action flows have been set up to automate common pathways. They also serve as hygiene reminders – for example, 10 seconds after you tell the toilet to flush, the hot tap at the sink turns on if someone’s presence is sensed. Soap is dispensed, the water stops and, 20 seconds later, the tap turns on again.

Ordering and paying for food

It’s time for lunch. Your afternoon looks busy. Where can you get food in a hurry?

You ask your wearable which eateries within a radius have short waiting times. If you want to choose on the go, placing an order is as simple as talking to an order screen, paying via contactless card, and picking up from a separate counter.

If you know what you want, you inform an app on your device of your order. It takes you through checkout seamlessly and your food is served up upon arrival.

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