Speech Tech Sees Growth in New and Established Sectors

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I'm happy to introduce our first State of the Speech Technology Industry issue, which focuses on the latest trends and developments in eight speech technology categories. The categories include some of the areas we've covered in our previous awards issues, such as speech self-service, analytics, and voice biometrics. It also covers three emerging areas—intelligent virtual assistants, application testing and tuning, and assistive technology.

Why are we launching a State of the Industry report? As you might know, we changed our Speech Industry Awards format last year to provide more in-depth coverage of our award winners. However, to make room for this newly expanded coverage, we needed to retire our Market Leader awards, which provided brief coverage of the latest industry trends. It was an unfortunate but necessary price to pay.

Fortunately, our State of the Industry report not only enables us to cover market trends on an annual basis, but it also gives us more space in the magazine to do so. So our readers get the best of both worlds—more in-depth industry insight and more company coverage.

Here are some examples of the kind of information you can find in this year's State of the Speech Technology Industry issue:

There's plenty of opportunity for growth in the application testing and tuning market. In fact, "only 1.5 percent of all speech applications currently in use around the world are being tested and tuned with any regularity," according to Russ Zilles, president and CEO of IQ Services, in the Application Testing and Tuning category. This could certainly be a big part of the industry's problem. Fortunately, the speech testing and tuning market is currently experiencing rapid growth, according to the article.

This burgeoning market is also getting some help from Convergys. The company this year launched FastPath for developers, which "includes modules that centralize VUI design, development, testing, and documentation," according to our Contact Center Outsourcing category. Convergys maintains that 90 percent of user interface development can be automated using this solution.

Our State of the Industry coverage also enables us to underscore the emerging intelligent virtual assistants (IVA) sector, which was ignited by the introduction of Apple's Siri in 2010. Already, the market is expected to reach $700 million by next year, according to Opus Research. This growth will undoubtedly be fueled by efforts from Nuance Communications and industry newcomer IPsoft, which launched its IVA, Amelia, last year.

And last, but not least, our coverage of the assistive technology market suggests that this sector is noticing growth of its own. Several young companies, such as MotionSavvy, Transcense, and RogerVoice, have recently come out with assistive technologies for smartphones that enable the hearing impaired to become more independent.

Find out more about these and other industry developments in our State of the Speech Technology Industry report.

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