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Global Markets and Technologies for Voice Recognition

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Bharat Book introduces a report "Global Markets and Technologies for Voice Recognition" An overview of the software and hardware for voice recognition technologies and their markets.

 Advances in machine learning and statistical data-mining techniques, coupled with the ubiquitous adoption of mobile devices, are helping voice recognition solutions get a new lease on life.

In the coming decade, observers of the evolution in voice recognition technologies will no doubt look back to 2012 as the tipping point year – the time when speech adoption finally broke away from the enterprise niche market of interactive voice response (IVR) solutions into broader uses that include consumer and health care sectors. With global software revenues expected to reach $16.7 billion by 2017, this maturing industry continues to owe much of its growth to advances in the critical triad of automatic speech recognition (ASR), text-to-speech (TTS), and speaker verification (SV) technologies.Companies, across all sectors and from every part of the voice recognition supply chain, seek a competitive edge that will differentiate them in an increasingly crowded business environment. They want to create and use products that can help them to be nimble and efficient and that will help them grow their customer base. Converging technologies make partnerships a compelling way to introduce new products; however, an uncertain global economy is offering fewer incentives to give rise to the number of mergers and acquisitions that characterized the voice recognition (VR) space earlier in the new millennium.

The second decade of the millennium has ushered in new uses for voice recognition products as collaborative consumption, fueled by the proliferation of social networks, empowers everyone to be potentially not only media consumers, but also producers of new applications. VR technologies help users identify (biometrics), codify (health care), search (voice search), navigate (voice-enabled navigation), and control (connected home). These technologies also help customers comply with privacy, safety and security requirements dictated by law and by user expectations.In the next five years companies will pair VR technologies with the latest research in artificial intelligence and augmented reality, creating a new generation of compelling products. Consumers, primed by the success of the Siri personal assistant, will expect products that not only predict their preferences but also offer new, interactive ways to enhance their emotional experiences.

To address the rapidly growing mobile traffic demand of the emerging middle class in Africa and Asia as well as in the highly developed geographic regions of North America and Europe, voice recognition providers are partnering with manufacturers that are loading their products with voice-activated multimodal options. With the help of these applications, drivers can navigate to their destinations; workers can voice-pick warehouse inventory; doctors can automate medical transcription processes; lawyers can build their cases with e-discovery products; homeowners control their environmental and security systems; and users of smart devices can access applications by voice commands.Geographic regions that have built out their broadband networks offer the best potential for growth, especially in those areas where mobile devices are the primary mode for such frequently used functions as entertainment, navigation and banking.

Products and applications that are smart, cost-effective and intuitive will hold the keys to the VR kingdom in the next five years. Battle lines, drawn in the 2012 turf wars between Google, Samsung and Apple, where each has fought for direct integration into mobile operating systems, indicate just how valuable these companies perceive the stakes to be not only in the mobile market but also in capturing the imagination and dollars of an ever-expanding global user base.


Companies in the voice recognition space are facing challenges similar to those present in other technology markets. Converging technologies offer the promise of new products and markets, especially in the fast-growing mobile markets. They also invite disruptive activities as witnessed by the patent battles of such major smartphone and application providers as Apple, Samsung and Google; each of these companies has aggressive strategies for making major inroads into the lucrative voice recognition market, which is still largely dominated by one provider, Nuance Communications.Customers are applying the same measuring stick to voice-aided products and services as they do to other products – they value accuracy, speed and efficiency. Whether obtaining stock quotes from their smartphones, getting wake up calls from voice-enabled alarm clocks, or accessing voice-translated e-mail, consumers have increasingly greater expectations about not only the quality of content, but also about the quality of their experiences.

Traditional habits persist, especially when it comes to customer service. No matter how compelling the content or how efficient the voice-enabled transaction, many consumers still prefer to talk to a live operator, or to type when talking would suffice. They also remember unsuccessful experiences with speech recognition applications that were implemented by early adopters. Virtual personal assistants, like Apple’s iPhone Siri product, are helping to change users’ experience of voice-enabled technology – from frustrating to fulfilling.Choosing voice recognition solutions remains a significant information technology (IT) investment – a fact not lost on companies that, in better economic times, focus primarily on strategic growth. Compelled to keep discretionary spending to a minimum, companies are more inclined to purchase products and services that show a quantitative return on investment.

Being offered monetary incentives to streamline their operations as well as facing mandates to comply with new federal regulations, health care professionals are balancing the requirements to contain costs with the potential of voice-aided automated solutions that promise to increase documentation accuracy and enhance customer satisfaction. Given the continued adoption of wireless devices and the seemingly insatiable consumer and business demand for unlimited access to information, it is likely that many enterprising companies will choose voice recognition solutions, either hosted at their site or shared in a cloud-computing environment, for competitive advantage even when the short-term economic landscape is dotted with question marks.

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