The User Value of Speech Recognition at Home

University essay from Lunds universitet/Innovationsteknik

Abstract: Humans have interacted using speech for thousands of years. Since the middle of last century, humans have been able to interact with computers using speech. Recent investments in speech recognition have resulted in the technology making its way into the homes of mainstream consumers. However, little is known about the user value of this target group using speech recognition in the home environment. The user value is relevant to IKEA for determining how, or if, the technology can deliver to their vision of creating a better everyday life for the many people. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the user value for the broader audience using speech recognition in the home environment. Further, the aim is to understand if, and how, speech recognition is relevant to IKEA. To reach the purpose, an exploratory, mixed method design, combining qualitative and quantitative strategies has been used. The primary approach of this study is a market research approach for identifying user value called means-end chain. Derived values are triangulated with feedback from experts and compared to existing literature. Aspects of implementation, such as product design and business have been excluded from the thesis. Four user values of speech recognition in the home environment are concluded; facilitate daily life, everyday efficiency, comfort and increased calmness. All four values refer to tasks complementing, not replacing, already existing interfaces. Moreover, a scepticism towards the new technology of speech recognition is identified. Speech recognition is also concluded to, entirely or partly, fulfil the IKEA product development criteria for smart products, namely; convenience, easy to understand, clear use case and solving a user need. Therefore, speech recognition can contribute to the IKEA vision of creating a better life for the many people.

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