When Siri first appeared on our phones in 2010, she was something of a curiosity. Most of us weren’t at all used to talking to our phones, but we slowly adapted to the convenience associated with Siri, summoning her to send a text while driving, schedule an appointment, or look up a fact.
In the years since Siri’s arrival, a lot has changed in the voice-to-text and digital assistant world. We have Alexa and Cortana, more traditional dictation programs like Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Google Docs Voice Typing, and these tools are more completely integrated with a broad array of external programs. And alongside these new developments, our work lives are evolving.
How has dictation transformed our professional lives? Just take a look: whether it’s revamping our to-do lists or invoicing clients, dictation technology allows us to step away from our desks while doing more. It’s productivity at its finest.
Call Up Your Apps
An increasing number of apps are compatible with digital assistant technology, meaning that you can call them up by verbally addressing your device. Besides Apple’s Siri, which has successfully navigated on-device apps since its early days, Cortana currently leads the pack in terms of integrations.
Do you have travel items to plan for your next business trip? Just ask Cortana to open the Marriott International app and start booking travel. From finding your hotel to perusing local amenities and checking your loyalty rewards, Cortana lets you move through the app with ease – and circumvent the long wait times associated with asking HR to book your trip.
If you’re using software like Dragon NaturallySpeaking, which many consider the gold standard in dictation software, you can also expect to navigate your complete computer interface via voice, especially if you’re adept at customization. If you’re creating invoices using Billdu's invoice template, for example, you should have no problem filling in any vital details with Dragon. Just speak the text and watch it appear.
Prep For The Day
Who has time to check the day’s appointments, look up the weather, and assess traffic while rushing out the door? Not a busy professional. Instead of pouring over your phone while jamming on a blazer, you can just ask your digital assistant to read out relevant updates while you gather your things. What a relief.
Opening up Cortana’s system to makers is also changing how we think about morning preparations. For example, the Magic Mirror project, essentially a one-way mirror that also projects information like the weather, could be greatly improved by Cortana’s software. Maybe you don’t want to see your schedule posted on a large mirror, but we see the advantages of holding a morning review session while brushing your teeth.
Keep It Moving
Now that there are several different digital assistant tools on the market, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing overlap between their skill sets. For example, Apple has always allowed users to complete tasks across different devices using Handoff and Continuity technology, both options that Cortana has begun integrating. That means if you’re drafting an email verbally on your phone and then need to finish it on your computer, your digital assistant can smoothly move from one to the other. Perfect for a professional on the go or those who work from home.
You may still find it a bit awkward to speak your directions to a device or dictate your work, but once you get into the habit, such software is indispensable. Will we all be working in soundproof booths in the future so we can chat our way through the day? That’s still to be determined. For the time being, though, whenever you can close the door and talk to your devices, take the opportunity. You’ll be amazed how much you get done.