4 min read

How the world just keeps talking: a brief history of voice technology

We are social creatures. 

We crave communication with others for support and wellbeing. 

The invention of the telephone changed everything and opened a wide world of communication. 

Today, we talk to colleagues on the other side of the planet. And to our personal voice assistants at home. 

Read on to discover the history of voice technology and how in the future it can help your business not just survive, but thrive in this age of innovation. 

History of Voice Technology_How-the-world-just-keeps-talking

Voice is everywhere and here to stay 

As means of communication develop around the world, voice technology still matters. We express emotions with our voices. You can even hear a smile. 

Technology is changing human interaction, and we live in a world where we can be connected with just a few clicks or taps of a screen. Voice technology gives us opportunities to speak, and to have that in-person conversation even when we’re thousands of kilometres apart. 

Through voice technology, we can focus on what connects us rather than what divides us. 

“Watson, come here…” 

The invention of the telephone had a tremendous impact on businesses. Agreements could be made a lot faster, and people didn’t have to travel back and forth to make transactions.  

The technology we use today is centuries in the making. And it has come a long way since Alexander Graham Bell made the first call on his telephone on March 10, 1876 to his assistant Thomas Watson: “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.”

The first PBX systems in the 1950s still required human operators to manually direct calls. 

Speech Recognition and Interactive Voice Response 


In the early 1960s, IBM presented Shoebox – a forerunner of today's voice recognition systems

The first IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system was introduced in 1973. This technology allowed people to interact with a computer-operated phone system through the use of voice. 

Today’s conversational IVR systems are a giant leap forward from the old systems. They are smart, intuitive and allow people to naturally engage with self-service menus when they call customer service. 

Voice goes mobile  

The first portable mobile phone Motorola introduced in 1983 cost an eye-watering $4000 USD and was a huge status symbol at the time. 

Over the last decades, we saw the world shrink to the palm of our hand, as mobile phones and smartphones once again transformed how we communicate. The world at our fingertips. 

The telephone eliminated distance, while the mobile phone released people from the constraints of space. Through call forwarding from a fixed telephone, a phone call can go almost anywhere. 

Never miss a call 

If you’re away from your desk, mobile services for your business give you all the call handling options you need. From intelligent routing to personalised call holding, smart call back, and more. A modern mobile plan gives you the tools to maximise the value of every call to and from your business. 

Voice is moving to the cloud 

It’s safe to say that the internet has turned our lives upside down. And just as big was its impact on communications. So much so that it’s now our preferred medium of communication. 

The telecommunications industry has been entirely disrupted by the cloud. Businesses of all sizes and across all industries are moving their communications to the cloud, the technology that is taking the market by storm. 

Cloud phone systems are flexible, easily scaled, cost less and offer numerous advanced features. 

Dive deeper: Why cloud PBX beats traditional PBX [With Infographic]

Hey, Siri! The future of search is voice 

"Hey Alexa, where is the nearest bakery?" "The nearest bakery is 100 meters away". For some time now, countless conversations have been held with voice assistants in a similar way, making life easier for users in many ways. 

AI-powered voice assistants are the latest big advancement in voice technology, kick-started by the release of Apple’s Siri in 2011. Today there are a variety of different voice assistants available on a variety of different devices, all specialized for a variety of things.  

Mobile devices are a catalyst for voice search. Voice search is not a thing of the future – it’s already here. When customers fall in love with their voice assistant of choice, make sure you’re there, ready to provide value. 

We’re writing the future of voice  

We founded Benemen with an essential vision: to offer a cloud service that revolutionises how companies serve their customers. With modern ways of communication at the heart of every interaction. 

We make talking smarter - one conversation at a time. 

Everything you need for modern talking

Discover our solutions for a new era of customer experience: 

BeneVoice for Salesforce - The #1 Voice Platform for Salesforce
BeneVoice for Mobile 
BeneVoice for Microsoft Teams 
BeneVoice for Microsoft Dynamics 365

Are you convinced about the power that voice could have on your business?

We’re sure of it!

Convert calls to sales_Benemen Demo (3)


Written by Benemen


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