Industry Dashboard/The Year in Review

Last year was certainly an interesting year in the speech recognition industry. The market witnessed continued consolidation, growing validation for VoiceXML, new interest in natural language understanding, and wider interest in speaker verification technologies. Vendors have firmly embraced flexible deployment models and are stressing Web services and service-oriented architecture (SOA) to support business applications and voice channels.

A closer look will reveal that investment in speech has increased from 2005 to 2006, but the number of publicly announced wins did not. This discrepancy can be explained by customer wins that have not been publicly announced and increased investment by companies that already have speech deployments. In 2005, there were approximately 160 publicly announced customer wins; in 2006 there were only 95. The proportion for public network-based speech deals between 2005 and 2006 declined from 79 percent to 72 percent. The proportion for embedded speech deals grew 7 percent to reach 14 percent in 2006. 

The Industry Dashboard cannot divine the future with precision. Rather, it provides some visibility into the uptake of speech recognition technology across various market segments. As we continue to track the market in 2007, we expect the number of publicly announced customer wins to grow.

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