There's a whole new thing happening and at first, it sounds like a novelty. The new movement around conversational design is emerging in products like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant as simple skills. Much like the early iPhone apps, the early users are using it to do the most basic things. Timers, set appointments, check mail.
All of this, including the voice part, is really just a taste of the real edge of user experience design. The new way we will engage with all our services will change because the services will wrap and follow us from device to device, from the Uber to the supermarket. And not in some cliched Hollywood way with posters that wave at you, but instead with smart(sentient, empathic, got your back sort of smart) suggestions and help.
I think we all imagined a future with robots helping us clean the house. Well, we are about to get the robots but they are digital. The clean up the mess we leave behind and plan our itineraries, suggest books and remind us to slow down.
This project was our first venture into conversational design that actually went live. It is a free, Amazon Alexa skill allowing users to access a Pledge Free version of the KQED Livestream. Pretty slick.