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Accuracy and improvements in speech recognition algorithms have opened new opportunities for developers to design speech based applications. Unlike regular applications, voice applications require a constant connection to the Internet, since the processor intensive work of interpreting and creating an action based based on the user input is far too demanding for the low powered mobile device CPU.

speech recognition


The logical place to host these next generation voice applications will be cloud based infrastructure, since these applications will have to fetch data from a variety of sources, which could be located anywhere on the planet. We will soon see personal assistant applications appearing, which have the ability to answer incoming calls and interact with the person calling, and perhaps ultimately, making the decision to connect the call even if we have set our status to “do not disturb”, if the caller is persistent enough.


Furthermore, the vendors of the speech technology platforms are making concerted efforts to enable the long tail of mobile application developers with speech recognition capabilities, according to ABI Research. Firms such as Nuance, AT&T and iSpeech are exposing their APIs and developer programs as the foremost strategy in reaching the long tail of mobile applications.

“Reaching a varied group of developers working on different operating system (OS) and hardware platforms makes cloud based solutions the optimum approach to enabling the masses,” says mobile devices, content and applications senior analyst Michael Morgan. “It is the approach of using network based solutions that will drive the rapid increase in cloud based revenues.”

Historically, mobile speech recognition was delivered to consumers through relationships between device OEMs and platform vendors. The other route to the consumer came through virtual assistant applications that were often developed by the platform vendors. Smaller application development efforts lacked the resources and expertise to bring the benefit of speech recognition to their products. This dynamic has kept speech recognition trapped in functionally specific applications.

“Leveraging the cloud as a delivery mechanism, platform vendors can enable nearly any application developer that wishes to make its user interface experience more efficient,” adds mobile devices, content and applications senior practice director Jeff Orr. “ABI Research expects consumers will first see the benefits of these efforts in mobile banking and retail applications.”

By Angela Sutherland

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