Messaging has sure come a long way since we first started texting. As have all communication devices, for that matter. With smartphone ownership on the rise globally, and our increasing desire to consume and share content while on the go, tech is seeing an audio revival. Today, according to eMarketer, more than 50% of people in the United States access digital audio monthly. U.S. consumers now have the ability to stream audio everywhere, whether at home or in the office, at the park, on the train, or in the car, etc.
What’s So Special about Audio?
While audio may be the less glamorous mode of sharing content, it is way more intimate and authentic. It may lack the visual stimulation and wow factor of images or live video, but the spoken word offers something more alluring: staying power. Remember the last time you got engrossed in a radio podcast while folding the laundry, exercising or sitting in traffic? My guess is it was just was earlier today. The beauty of audio content is that you can be totally engaged with it while doing something else.
Users know this too, hence the growing demand for and development of gadgets, devices and social media platforms and apps that incorporate audio feedback, voice interaction and/or provide access to podcasts and opportunities to create and share audio-based content. Move over, Siri! There’s now also AirPods, Google Home, as well as the Amazon Echo, and an increasing amount of news sites, like the New York Times and The Economist, who have introduced audio news portions for readers to listen to.
The Future is Connectivity
Unless you live on a deserted island, you know that technology and social media are transforming how we engage with one other, do business and, of course, experience the world around us. Digital connectivity is bringing everyone closer, even those of us who live worlds apart. It makes sharing content faster and easier. But more importantly, technology and its role in connectivity is opening us up to a whole new world of sensory experiences and emotional responses.
As quickly as digital technology is developing, so too is our hunger for it. Just look at last week’s global CES event. The takeaway from this year’s show demonstrated that we are in “a new era of innovation where technology is valued not just for the devices it produces but for the experiences it makes possible,” said Bridget Karlin, managing director, IOT, Intel.
During the four-day event, Ford President and CEO Mark Fields shared the car company’s vision for how the future of mobility will also be transformed by technological connectivity. He announced that Ford Sync is expanding to deliver cloud-based services and that soon all Ford vehicles will be controlled remotely with the FordPass app.
This is in addition to the car manufacturer’s international distribution agreement with HearMeOut to include the HearMeOut App with Ford’s SYNC AppLink, the company’s global mobile-to-car connection system that allows drivers to use voice commands and steering wheel buttons to control their mobile apps. HearMeOut’s technology will enable users to listen to entire social feeds while driving, record vocal posts and share them on Facebook and Twitter, all without taking their eyes off the road.
This is just one more example of how audio-based technology is a trend that’s here to stay, helping us to connect with others and enhance how we experience the world around us.