Voice search, also called voice-enabled, allows the user to use a voice command to search the Internet, a website, or an app.
Voice search is often interactive, involving several rounds of interaction that allows a system to ask for clarification. Voice search is a type of dialog system.
Voice search is not a replacement for typed search. Rather the search terms, experience and use cases can differ heavily depending on the input type.
Voice searching is a method of search which allows users to search using spoken voice commands rather than typing. The search can be done on any device with a voice input. Three common methods to activate voice search:
- Click on the voice command icon
- Call out the name of the virtual assistant
- Click on the home button or gesture on interface
Activate the virtual assistant
Apple: Hey, Siri
Google: OK, Google
Amazon: Hey, Alexa
Language is the most essential factor for a system to understand, and provide the most accurate results of what the user search. This covers across languages, dialects, and accents, as users want a voice assistant that both understands them and speaks to them understandably.
While spoken and written languages differ, voice search should support natural spoken language instead of only transforming voice into text and doing a regular text search with the help speech recognition.
For example, in typed search an eCommerce user can easily copy and paste an alphanumeric product code to search field, but when speaking the search terms can be very different, such as "show me the new Bluetooth headphones by Samsung".
How it works
The difference between text and voice search is not only the input type. The mechanism must include an automatic speech recognition (ASR) for input, but it can also include natural language understanding for natural spoken search queries such as "What's the population for the United States"
Then, the search system will detect the language spoken by the user. It will then detect the keywords and context of the sentence. Lastly, the device will return results depending on its output. A device with a screen might display the results, while a device without a screen will speak them back to the searcher.