Will Voice Controlled Smart Devices Change the Game for Council Communications?

As practical applications grow, the British scepticism towards Smart Devices appears to be on the wane, with an estimated 40% of UK households owning a Smart Speaker by the end of 2018.

No longer are Voice Controlled Smart Devices confined to playing music and turning your lights on. The IoT industry is seeing huge investment from the likes of Amazon and Google to ensure that Voice Enabled Smart Devices become the go to method for online services within the home.

It has become more than acceptable for people to have a conversation with a smart device in their home” comments Mark Garvey, CEO of Whitespace Work Software. “As this level of communication becomes more prevalent, one must ask how councils will act to respond to the public’s expectations.”

The Smart Speakers market is seeing new entrants every month, but the UK market is still dominated by Amazon and its Alexa based Echo products. “We chose to partner with Amazon because of their market position, willingness to work with software suppliers and competitive pricing for the public.” states Nick Hales, CTO of Whitespace Work Software.

By partnering with providers, local authorities will be able to provide a mass market solution with a low barrier to entry. Much like the smartphone market with the Android and Apple operating systems, local authorities can focus on providing maximum efficiencies to the public whilst only having to support popular services or devices.

Whitespace Work Software is actively pushing the boundaries of Smart Speakers and Voice Assistant integration to Council services. By integrating their Waste and Environmental Software with Smart Devices Whitespace allows the public to request a whole variety of information such as “when will the council next collect my bin?” or “what can I recycle?

Whitespace’s technological advances also allow the public to notify or request a number of services from their local authority including recording a missed bin collection, faulty streetlight or even antisocial behaviour.

The potential benefits of embracing this technology within a local authority are huge. “By embracing Voice Controlled Technology we have been able to open services to residents who previously were unable to use Smart Devices, websites or the telephone, whilst simultaneously increasing the use of online council services directly helping to drive down costs” states Mark Garvey.

Much like advances with the internet and email drove councils to embrace online interactions with the public, the question remains whether or not this latest technology revolution will drive innovation and efficiency in a voice controlled future.

Mark Garvey thinks so: “The goal must be to have a fully connected world where Council services and information can be accessed at home, on the move and in the workplace. Smart Speakers and Voice Assistants are a key part of our strategy to keep Council residents, employees and third parties at the forefront of practical technology in the years to come.

For more information on the Connected Council and how Whitespace Work Software can help visit www.whitespacews.com, email: info@whitespacews.com or call 01483 231650.

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