It may seem counter to our perceptions of machine-to-machine communications that voice could be an aspect of these data-oriented applications, but in machine to human and human to machine communications such as command, control, and alerts, voice can be not only very useful, but cost-effective. The recognition of this fact has caused leading LTE for IoT chipmakers such as Sequans to optimize their IoT chipsets for voice, and operators such as Verizon Wireless to certify IoT with VoLTE chipsets for their networks. In the most recent development, Gemalto, leading IoT solutions provider, has introduced an LTE Cat 1 module featuring VoLTE, aimed at enhancing IoT and M2M apps and services.

Voice is the natural mode of communication for humans and in certain M2M applications where human interaction or input is needed, voice is often the easiest form for this input, especially if hands and eyes are occupied. Voice can also be the least expensive form of input for certain applications that can accept simple voice commands instead of requiring expensive touchscreens or other costly input hardware.

The M2M or IoT applications that can benefit from voice are many and in a wide variety of market sectors, including security and alarm systems for home and business, health monitoring solutions, automatic teller machines, retail kiosks, package drop-off stations, fitness wearables, in-car emergency applications, people trackers, call boxes for elevators and roadside assistance, parking kiosks, and vending machines, to name a few.

Leading industry research firm Strategy Analytics has published a white paper: ?The Role of Voice in IoT Applications,? and in it estimates that by 2022 voice could capture 12 percent of industrial IoT applications in the lucrative Asia-Pacific and North American regions, and up to 18 percent of applications in the consumer segment, including wearable IoT and smart home and building applications. Strategy Analytics concludes that voice has a pivotal role to play in IoT applications.

For more information, download the Strategy Analytics white paper here.