Speech Technology Magazine


Biographical Information

Robin Springer

Articles By Robin Springer

AAC Tech Can Help Those with Speech Disabilities Navigate Public Places

Augmentative and alternative communication puts control in the hands of people with speech disabilities, and that should be good for businesses, too
Posted 28 Jan 2019 - Fall 2018 Issue - by Robin Springer

People with Speech Disabilities Have Accessibility Requirements, Too

Businesses should consider how to make their stores hospitable to speech-disabled patrons
Posted 29 Aug 2018 - Summer 2018 Issue - by Robin Springer

The Voice Option in Customer Service Must Not Be the Only One

Sometimes keypads are necessary. They cannot be taken out of the service equation.
Posted 21 Feb 2018 - Winter 2018 Issue - by Robin Springer

Voice Data Collection Must Be Transparent

Consumers need to know whether their data will be used, and for what purpose
Posted 27 Aug 2017 - Fall 2017 Issue - by Robin Springer

How Private Is Medical Speech Data?

Not very, as ‘anonymized' data and privacy policies show. Meaningful consent might be a start
Posted 17 Feb 2017 - Spring 2017 Issue - by Robin Springer

Doctors’ Speech Data Should Belong to Them

Vendors' privacy policies can put physicians using speech recognition in a tough spot
Posted 10 Nov 2016 - Winter 2016 Issue - by Robin Springer

Is Your Voice Data Safe in the Cloud?

Cloud-based files may have less legal protections than you think
Posted 01 Aug 2016 - Fall 2016 Issue - by Robin Springer

Lessons From the Allvoice Patent Case

What the speech developer's suit against Microsoft means for software makers
Posted 15 Feb 2016 - Spring 2016 Issue - by Robin Springer

Making Speech Recognition Accessible to All

Compliance with federal disability standards is both right and good business
Posted 07 Aug 2015 - Fall 2015 Issue - by Robin Springer

In Patent Cases, Transformation Is the Key

Software validation stems from invalidation in Supreme Court case.
Posted 02 Feb 2015 - Spring 2015 Issue - by Robin Springer

Are Obvious Patent Requests Simple Omissions—or Crimes?

Why the patent application process needs narrower boundaries.
Posted 10 Nov 2014 - Winter 2014 - by Robin Springer

Protecting Patents Just Got Easier

Do Supreme Court decisions limit patent abuse?
Posted 28 Jul 2014 - Fall 2014 - by Robin Springer

Smartphones and Privacy Versus Progress

With personal information more available than ever, where do we draw the line?
Posted 10 Feb 2014 - Spring 2014 - by Robin Springer

How Much Protection Does Software Really Need?

The unique nature of software patents makes the question a complicated one.
Posted 12 Aug 2013 - Fall 2013 - by Robin Springer

Universal Design Offers Options—and Access

For many, this solution provides more than just convenience.
Posted 10 Feb 2013 - Spring 2013 - by Robin Springer

Improving Access to the Virtual World

Universal design standards are opening doors to those with disabilities.
Posted 10 Sep 2012 - September/October 2012 - by Robin Springer

Putting a Price on Privacy

Are consumers sharing more than they know?
Posted 01 May 2012 - May/June 2012 - by Robin Springer

Fatal Distractions

Speech tech companies promote hands-free devices to prevent accidents.
Posted 01 Mar 2012 - March/April 2012 - by Robin Springer

The High Cost of Technology

It's hard to argue against progress, but it has its downside, too.
Posted 01 Jan 2012 - January/February 2012 - by Robin Springer

eBooks for the Visually Impaired

Kindle and other readers come up short; Justice Dept. pushes textbooks
Posted 01 Sep 2011 - September/October 2011 - by Robin Springer

Emergency Preparedness Is a Job for All

Court ruling in Los Angeles disabilities case teaches a broader lesson; speech-generating devices are one of several tools that could be employed
Posted 01 May 2011 - May/June 2011 - by Robin Springer

On Speech We Can Agree

Passage of legislation heralds new opportunities for the disabled.
Posted 05 Jan 2011 - January/February 2011 - by Robin Springer

Speech Can Help Integrate the Disabled

The technology exists to allow the disabled to live independently.
Posted 01 Sep 2010 - September/October 2010 - by Robin Springer

Shame On You, Authors Guild

The facts don't match the claims in the Kindle TTS debate.
Posted 03 May 2010 - May/June 2010 - by Robin Springer

Shame on You, Amazon

The Kindle maker should never have backed down on TTS.
Posted 10 Jan 2010 - January/February 2010 - by Robin Springer

Speech in a Virtual World, Part II

Tagging items makes them easier for speech technologies to read.
Posted 01 Oct 2009 - October 2009 - by Robin Springer

Speech in a Virtual World

Disabled users gain control of the in-world life.
Posted 14 Jul 2009 - July/August 2009 - by Robin Springer

Speech in an Emergency

The proper devices can help people communicate in times of need
Posted 01 May 2009 - May 2009 - by Robin Springer

Countdown to the DTV Deadline

Is your call center ready for conversion questions from the disabled?
Posted 06 Feb 2009 - January/February 2009 - by Robin Springer

Making DTV for All with TTS

Technology could help the blind get vital information.
Posted 01 Nov 2008 - November/December 2008 - by Robin Springer

Speech in a Digital World

The transition to digital television presents new opportunities for TTS.
Posted 22 Aug 2008 - September 2008 - by Robin Springer

Full Access Granted

Ignoring people with disabilities could mean bad news for mobile companies.
Posted 01 Jun 2008 - June 2008 - by Robin Springer

Dictation for the Mac User

A new option could loosen the Windows stranglehold.
Posted 01 Apr 2008 - April 2008 - by Robin Springer

Speech in Electronic Signatures

Voice biometrics can play a role, but we'll still need notaries.
Posted 25 Jan 2008 - January/February 2008 - by Robin Springer

Social Responsibility Is More than a Good Idea

Mutual respect should govern all business relationships, even in speech technologies.
Posted 09 Jul 2007 - July/August 2007 - by Robin Springer

Don't Believe Everything You Hear

Digital recordings don't show the same signs of tampering
Posted 01 May 2007 - May 2007 - by Robin Springer

A Case in Proof

As technologies evolve, proving authenticity of voice recordings will become increasingly difficult.
Posted 01 Mar 2007 - March 2007 - by Robin Springer

To Dictate or To Record?

If you were on trial for a criminal offense, facing the possibility of life in prison, would you rather have the record of your trial created based on a recording or a court reporter sitting in the courtroom transcribing what everyone is saying?
Posted 09 Nov 2006 - November/December 2006 - by Robin Springer

Bluetooth Dictates to Desktops

Here's a common misstatement: It is not possible to use Bluetooth headsets with desktop dictation.
Posted 12 Sep 2006 - September/October 2006 - by Robin Springer

Credibility - Let the Truth Speak for Itself

Working in the trenches with desktop dictation users over the past decade I have heard repeatedly that there needs to be greater accountability from manufacturers, distributors and resellers to accurately represent speech recognition software.
Posted 08 May 2006 - May/June 2006 - by Robin Springer

Speech Recognition: Detracting the Distractions

When I recently went shopping for a new car, I was particularly looking forward to seeing how speech recognition was being marketed and sold. While I wasn't surprised to find that, at times, the accuracy exceeded my expectations, I was quite surprised by the ways in which speech technology was addressed by the salespeople. I encountered three typical scenarios: the salespeople who possessed great pride in their ability to use speech recognition, those who preferred…
Posted 07 Nov 2005 - November/December 2005 - by Robin Springer

A New World of Accessibility

In 1994-95, 58 percent of legally blind Americans 18 to 54 years old were unemployed, compared to 18 percent of 18 to 54 year olds with no serious impairments. The numbers are staggering, with the disparity being attributed, in part, to inadequate training in access technology and lack of awareness that technology exists to accommodate people who are blind.
Posted 30 Aug 2005 - September/October 2005 - by Robin Springer

Slow Moving in a Progressive State

California is supposed to be the progressive state. Named after a mythical paradise, we even have a city that legally changed the title "pet owner" to "pet guardian." While our progressive status may apply to our four-legged friends, it may not extend to all Californians, specifically Medi-Cal recipients who require Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices (AAC) to communicate. …
Posted 20 Jun 2005 - July/August 2005 - by Robin Springer

Speech Technology May Be the Key

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 2.6 million U.S. children ages 6 to 11 had learning disabilities or attention or hyperactivity disorders in 1997-1998, and the numbers continue to increase.
Posted 26 Apr 2005 - May/June 2005 - by Robin Springer

Recognition Software Still Needs Refinement

Speech recognition software has become as easy to find as candy canes at Christmas. From office supply stores to the Internet to consultants who specialize in speech implementation, it's pretty easy to buy the software. But once a user decides he wants to be a dictator, he needs to choose an implementation strategy.
Posted 06 Mar 2005 - March/April 2005 - by Robin Springer

The Case for Augmented Speech

From making airline reservations to confirming postage rates, consumers are increasing their acceptance of applications that utilize synthesized speech. While the public can be unforgiving when it comes to the naturalness of synthesized speech, demanding that speech applications sound as human as possible, could they be identifying preferences based on incomplete information?
Posted 06 Jan 2005 - January/February 2005 - by Robin Springer

Designing Biometric Devices

While biometrics are intrinsically accessible for people who are disabled, a single biometric cannot accommodate all users.
Posted 23 Nov 2004 - November/December 2004 - by Robin Springer

Desktop Dictation: Then and Now

Desktop dictation has changed in the 10 years I have been in the field. From available features to distribution channels, let's take a look at where we were, where we are, how we got here, and where we might expect to go.
Posted 11 Sep 2004 - September/October 2004 - by Robin Springer

Addressing the Accessibility of TTY with VoIP

Results are back from early adopters and, according to Alex Hadden-Boyd, director of marketing for IP communications at Cisco, the ROIs are being measured in months, not years.
Posted 08 Jul 2004 - July/August 2004 - by Robin Springer

It's All About the Caller

In this electronic era with wireless PDAs, email and the Internet, where on the urgency scale is your telephone as a must-have? According to the Gartner Group, 92 percent of business transactions are completed over the phone, so it's pretty high up there.
Posted 08 Mar 2004 - March/April 2004 - by Robin Springer

Wellness Checks

Wellness Check programs such as Guardian Calling by Reverse 911, C.A.R.E. by DCC and Command Caller by Voice Technologies, usually integrated into Emergency Notification Systems, monitor local residents to ensure they do not require assistance from emergency personnel.
Posted 25 Aug 2003 - September/October 2003 - by Robin Springer

XyberKids: Helping Kids Assimilate

How does a company that provides wearable computer solutions for the military and corporate heavyweights, such as Federal Express, Bell Canada and Lockheed Martin, transition into helping kids with disabilities improve their communication and social skills? If you are Xybernaut, you modify your trademarked durable, droppable diminutive box into XyberKids, a product that not only helps kids interact, it helps them assimilate.
Posted 30 Jun 2003 - July/August 2003 - by Robin Springer

Most Innovative Solutions Awards 2003

Speech Technology Magazine (STM) is recognizing companies using creative speech-service applications. Organizations worldwide are increasingly using speech to improve customer service, increase revenues, empower workers and introduce other creative solutions. We have recognized solutions that have impacted organizations in ways that are innovative and unique. These solutions are changing the way companies do business and proving that speech will play a major role in a company's customer service, marketing and sales strategy.
Posted 30 Jun 2003 - July/August 2003 - by Robin Springer

Integrating Speech Into The Big Picture of Ergonomics

When we are typing on the computer we may have one hand on the keyboard, our other hand on the mouse, our eyes on the screen. We are in a locked position. When we factor in talking on the phone without a headset or sitting in a maladjusted chair, the situation becomes worse.
Posted 05 May 2003 - May/June 2003 - by Robin Springer

Is the Game Over for Speech Recognition?

Speech recognition is finding its way into video games, but not from an accessibility standpoint. Instead, speech is being integrated to enhance the experience for hard-core gamers. Manufacturers publicize speech recognition as a new game play option, not as a way for an individual with a disability to join his friends in a social activity.
Posted 05 May 2003 - May/June 2003 - by Robin Springer

Keeping The Consumer In Mind

QPointer Suite, a speech-recognition product offering dictation as well as mouse-less computer operation, is the creation of a company with a novel business strategy; to create a flawless assistive technology (AT) product for the disability market before branching into the mainstream arena.
Posted 06 Mar 2003 - March/April 2003 - by Robin Springer

Improved Education Could Increase Technology Use

In Russia, children with disabilities can be denied an education. In America, we have IDEA. In Brazil, it is acceptable to deny employment to a person with a disability, specifically because he or she is disabled. In the United States we have the Ticket to Work program. In Italy, there are buildings with steps, but no wheelchair ramps. In the United States, we have the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Posted 21 Nov 2002 - November/December 2002 - by Robin Springer

Doing It All

A key grip in the entertainment industry, a general contractor, licensed electrician and a martial arts instructor, Billy communicates with people all day long.
Posted 10 Sep 2002 - September/October 2002 - by Robin Springer

Compensating for the Challenge

If an American goes to Paris and cannot speak French, is the American disabled? She is challenged at the very least. Put her on a telephone in the foreign country, needing to communicate without the benefit of hand gestures or facial expressions, and her handicap becomes greater.
Posted 21 May 2002 - May/June 2002 - by Robin Springer

When Multimodal Isn't Useable In Any Mode

As technology progresses, devices become smaller in size. Remember first generation "mobile" phones? They were mobile all right, but they were practically the size of a small child, weighing a few pounds, and barely meeting the airline's size requirements for carry-on luggage. But they served our purpose and we were grateful.
Posted 29 Mar 2002 - March/April 2002 - by Robin Springer

Assistive Technology

Each of us has dreams, but sometimes fall back on excuses when those dreams are not achieved.
Posted 30 Nov 2000 - November/December 2000 - by Robin Springer