Real-Time Radio Allows Real-Time Radio Search

Critical Mention announced today the addition of its Real-Time Radio offering, currently in beta testing. Powered by IBM’s speech-to-text and speech recognition technologies, Critical Mention transcribes audio streams into text, thereby allowing for real-time radio search.

According to Sharon Tolpin, vice president of marketing and communications, such an endeavor has never been done before. "We’ve offered next-day daily monitoring for customers that want to track where it’s all happening," she says. While Critical Mention has been providing television search and broadcast monitoring since 2003, radio is a new venue for them.        

By and large, the market for speech analytics has been relegated primarily to contact center solutions. However in recent years, there’s been a slow push towards developing the technology for commercial applications.

"It’s not so much that the technology is new, it’s the application that’s getting traction," says Datamonitor analyst Ri Pierce Grove. "But what’s interesting here is we’re seeing some consumer-friendly deployments of this technology."

Speech analytics has been making a gradual circuit in various industries. It grew out of intelligence work, and has already circulated through business enterprises. Yet, the idea of bringing the technology commercial is a relatively new concept. Having access to large archives of broadcast information over the Web as well as the technology with which to process it is a fairly new development.  

But despite the Oct. 1 date earmarked for Real-Time Radio’s wide scale release, Grove asserts that the industry still has places to grow. "The technology is not yet perfect and consumers have a fairly low threshold for error," she says. "And their expectation for search is currently very high because the text search engines have been so excellent." She adds that rich media search needs to compete with technologies that have been building with Web 2.0 such as tagging, which allows users to rifle through video archives via script consensus search methods.

But even though Real-Time Radio might not mark a watershed, Grove expects growth to increase gradually as the technology is perfected and more applications hit the market. "There’ll be a core of people for whom this is so valuable," says Grove, "the odd false positive or wrong response is something they’re going to be willing to discount." And those growing pains will only spur new ideas and new developments.

SpeechTek Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues