Flipkart has announced the support for voice search on its platform. The e-commerce website’s new voice search feature will be available in English and Hindi languages for now and will help bring new customers to the platform, simplifying their early Flipkart journey.

“With more than 75% of internet users in India coming from non-English speaking backgrounds and a majority of them residing in non-urban, rural areas, it becomes imperative to solve the language barrier for enabling access to the benefits of the internet, including e-commerce,” Flipkart said in a statement.

Flipkart’s voice search will allow customers to discover and buy products using voice commands in Hindi and English and a blend of both languages. The feature will also let users browse through catalogues with commands like “Kala joota dikhana”(show me black shoes).

How it works

To enable Voice Search in Hindi and English, Flipkart has deployed a host of technical capabilities such as Automatic Speech Recognition, Natural Language Understanding, and Text-to-Speech for Indian languages. These are built by Flipkart’s in-house engineering and data sciences team.

Once a user gives a command, the automatic speech recognition recognises the voice and converts it into text. Here, the Natural Language Understanding algorithm tries to identify the intent and entity from the keywords given in the command. These keywords are then picked up by Flipkart’s search engine, which then fetches results for customers.

Flipkart’s Voice Search will work alongside the brand’s existing text-based searches so that longer, more complex voice-search phrases can be understood by the platform, including queries made by users in different accents.

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