Siri is Just the Start for Speech Recognition
Several weeks ago, ReadWriteWeb asked, “What Does Siri’s Future Look Like?” The headline is an interesting one for Apple fans in considering the capabilities of their iPhone, but the post also hints at how speech recognition software is likely to transform consumer products way beyond mobile devices.
A quick scan of recent events related to speech recognition technologies in Recorded Future gives a good impression of innovations already being developed. The diversity of markets being targeted is striking: video game applications by Nintendo, television and remote control operation developed by LG, and desktop operating system integration through Microsoft Windows with Kinect.
It’s worth noting that applications in areas such as logistics and healthcare are well beyond the experimental phase, and so we’ll stay focused in this post on the emerging consumer product applications. The product work and stories mentioned above were just a few examples pulled from this network of companies recently mentioned related to the speech recognition technologies. You can get a full scope of those connections in the network below:
Seeing the wide ranging developments discussed during just the last month, we’re also curious about what’s been announced or predicted for speech recognition technologies during the next decade. Below is a visualization of the various entities mentioned alongside speech recognition technology related to a future point in time.
As expected, major players like Apple, Google, and Amazon appear. The Amazon reference turns out to be fairly interesting as it speculates about the impact that voice recognition could play on the company’s market share of the tablet space via the Kindle and fuels rumors that the company is developing a smartphone for release by end of 2012. More interesting, perhaps, is that a quick glance actually provides an indication of the next area where voice recognition will become a standard feature: the automotive industry.
The blocks in the treemap above describe those companies expected to integrate speech or voice recognition technology, and you’ll find a number of major international automakers including Toyota, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, and Infiniti.
Why watch the future of this space? Well for starters, the iPhone 4S was the best selling handset in Q4 2011, which suggests that consumers are ready to interact with devices via voice. New products including this type of technology could be a key competitive advantage in higher end consumer products, and companies already deep in this space (Nuance, M*Modal) may be looking at big gains.