Voice browsing is the "new internet", according to speech recognition experts SRC.
Kenton Sanmogan, head of consulting and solutions at the company, said that several firms had already implemented voice interfaces for functions such as betting and booking rail tickets.
"It's like being back at the inception of the internet," he said. "Everyone thought that [voice browsing] would have a niche role but what would you say now?"
Sanmogan explained that the voice browsing protocol, which works as an extensible mark-up language for voice called VXML, would become like HTML for speech recognition and that call centres in particular would benefit from voice portal options.
"I'm not saying that humans need to be replaced by speech," he said. "But it's not appropriate to deploy humans as a typing interface between the customer and back-end systems."
Companies currently implementing voice portal technologies include Charles Schwab, for stock pricing enquiries, Lloyds TSB, Odeon Cinemas and Virgin Trains. Analysts were less optimistic but still said that voice portals will predominate in simple call tasks.
David Bradshaw, a customer relationship management analyst with industry watcher Ovum, said that, while voice browsing would not specifically be the new internet, it would serve an important function in simple transactions and customer requests.
"The quality is very high now and it will improve the customer experience on many issues," he said. "I don't think it will put people out of work; more like improve their working experience."
"At the moment some 80 per cent of telephone enquiries to bank call centres are requests for balance information, and that's something that should be automated," he added.
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