The Voice-Activated Future of Shopping

March 16, 2016

Conversant Labs, a technology startup that works on developing voice-enabled app technology, recently launched an app called Say Shopping that allows shoppers to search, browse and buy items solely through voice recognition.

After collaborating with Target, Conversant is concentrating its voice-enabled technology research on a larger software platform called SayKit. With the market for mobile apps projected to reach $73 billion by 2019, voice-enabled technology is increasingly important to how apps work, and Conversant is focused on helping computers understand more complex contexts — there is still much ground to be covered to bridge the gap between human voices and how they are interpreted by technological interfaces.

HCII Associate Professor Jeffery Bigham told TribLive that he thinks Say Shopping is a likely harbinger of new voice-activated innovations to come in the near future.

"People with disabilities are often leaders in developing and using technology … speech-based interfaces are just the latest of this trend," he said.

Read more about Conversant Labs research and developments on TribLive.

Story by Aisha Rashid (DC 2019)