voice tech

The Inevitability of Voice UI Features

Collin Borns

May 31, 2022

4 min read

Voice Assistants have received a lot of attention over the last few years, but Voice UIs as a Feature have delivered all the value and will continue to do so in Mobile, Web, Gaming, and the Metaverse.

  • Copy link

  • Mail

  • LinkedIn

  • Facebook

  • Twitter

Voice Assistant use has increased considerably over the past decade and has introduced many consumers to voice interaction. However, this model is actually not widely deployed. It seems very common because the tech giants have all introduced Voice Assistants and they are widely distributed through many of the most popular consumer devices, such as smartphones. However, there are many more Voice User Interfaces (UIs) deployed as a Feature in use today.

Use Cases of Voice UIs as a Feature


Navigation apps are a good example where Voice is a UI Feature. There is no attempt at conversation and yet nearly all of them now have the ability to accept requests by voice. The natural language inputs are followed by a visual response. That could be information about the intended route, a map, or both.


Banking apps provide another example. Erica from Bank of America, Eno from Capital One, U.S. Bank’s smart assistant, and Fargo from Wells Fargo all respond to inputs requested by Voice. None of them conduct multi-turn voice conversations. Why didn’t these companies simply replicate the model used by Alexa and Google Assistant? They didn’t need to. The Voice Input combined with a visual response was what added the most value to users.

Music Streaming

Consider also the music streaming apps. Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora, and Spotify all offer Voice Search as a Feature for finding songs and to activate simple controls. While all of these implementations aside from Spotify are backed by Voice Assistants, they are still employed as simple, reactive Voice UIs. The audio response is typically just saying what song is about to play and then playing it - there is no back and forth conversation.

Smart TVs

Voice UIs on smartphones work in a very similar way to Voice UIs for smart TVs. Cable and streaming television services are all adding Voice Search and Voice Commands for navigation and control. These solutions don’t pretend to make conversation. They respond to a request by loading information on a screen or by changing a television control based on the Voice Command. Voice UIs that simply respond to voice requests are actually far more common than Voice Assistants as a new Conversational Channel.

Why Voice UI Features Have Outpaced Voice Assistants

The more prescient question is why so many of these companies are implementing Voice UIs of any kind. When it comes to mobile apps and mobile web, voice is more effective than touch-and-type interfaces. There is limited screen real estate to place buttons and thumb-typing is terribly inefficient. This is particularly true when you need to offer open-ended input (e.g. navigation/mapping and music streaming) or have a lot of features that are difficult to display in a simple menu (e.g. banking apps).

Voice UIs are also increasingly viewed as an accessibility feature for healthcare-related apps. It is a safety feature in cars where automakers want to offer an increasing number of features but endless menus can distract drivers. Touch and typing interfaces are not going away. However, they are increasingly being augmented by Voice UIs because of constraints, convenience, and changing consumer preferences.

On that final point, smart speakers, smart home products, and automobiles are playing a big role. There was a time when using your voice to control devices was uncommon. That is no longer true. Many people are using voice both at home and in the car. This is planting new habits around the use and expectation of Voice UIs in everyday digital interactions. It is no longer news when a smart home device or car adds a Voice Assistant. Nearly all of them support Voice UIs.

Building Voice Features in Mobile and Web

This trend is continuing to expand into the mobile app space as well as the mobile web space, which is constantly adding new features to reach near parity with native mobile apps. And users want Voice UIs as a Feature as opposed to Voice Assistants, because they are a better match for user needs.

Speechly’s Voice Interface solution is aligned with these trends. If you want a full Voice Assistant, there are many solutions available from Big Tech, startups, and open source frameworks. However, the attention of developers, app and web publishers has shifted to solutions that can enable Voice UIs as a Feature.

Speechly offers a fast, accurate, and simple Voice UI API to build Voice Features fast. With Speechly any developer can be a Voice Developer.

In addition, Speechly delivers best-in-class responsiveness in terms of speed and has introduced a full duplex Voice Interface Solution for mobile, web, gaming, and the metaverse. There is no longer a need to wait for a Voice Assistant response. With Speechly, you can build solutions that simply react in real time to Voice Commands. And we are committed to providing the best Voice Interface solution for mobile app and web developers.

Voice UIs as a Feature vs Conversational Voice UIs

There are limitations with the Voice Assistant model, however there are tangible opportunities for Voice UIs as a Feature in our Web, Mobile, Gaming, and Metaverse applications. If these opportunities are of interest to you, consider checking out our full white paper on “Voice UIs as a Feature vs Conversational Voice UIs”.

Download White Paper

Voice UIs as a Feature vs Conversational Voice UIs

Learn how Voice UI features are outperforming Voice Assistants.

We care about the protection of your data. Privacy Policy.

Cover photo by Veri Ivanova on Unsplash

Latest blog posts

company news

Speechly Introduces a Solution to the Voice Chat Moderation Gap at VOICE 2022

Voice chat is a popular feature in games, the metaverse, and social media networks but it comes with challenges like harassment and toxic behavior. This post breaks down our keynote at VOICE 22 exploring how Speechly helps solve these issues.

Collin Borns

Nov 17, 2022

1 min read

voice tech

3 Vectors of Voice Chat Moderation

Voice chat is very popular with both users and the creators of games, social media platforms, and metaverse spaces. However, the introduction of voice chat comes with the risk of harassment for users.

Otto Söderlund

Nov 14, 2022

6 min read

voice tech

Why Games Need Better Voice Chat Moderation

Major gaming studios like Riot Games, Roblox and Sony are recording voice chats for moderation, but the tools for content moderation today typically suffer from low accuracy, high cost, and high latency. A new technical approach is needed to fill the voice chat moderation gap.

Otto Söderlund

Oct 24, 2022

6 min read