Technavio Sees Great Potential in Voice-Control Apps

In the next four years, voice recognition software will turn into personal digital assistants, voice verification will be integrated with speech recognition, and a growing use of voice-based apps in connected cars will emerge as the top three trends for the global voice-controlled speech technology market, according to a report from research firm Technavio.

Technavio expects the global voice-controlled market to grow at nearly an 8 percent compound annual growth rate through 2020.

One of the key drivers for this growth will be the rising demand for voice authentication in the financial services sector, according to Sunil Kumar Singh, a Technavio lead industry analysts for computing devices research.

"The need for a stronger verification process is resulting in the growing integration of voice authentication in mobile banking," he said in a statement. "In regions such as North America and Western Europe, a large number of banking customers use mobile banking facilities. Most of the financial institutions in these regions are adopting voice-based authentication solutions for devices such as smartphones to accept or reject mobile transactions by a user."

As a result of the increasing demand for mobile banking voice authentication, Singh expects new vendors to enter the market with innovative applications.

Additionally, several vendors are already working toward the integration of voice verification with speech recognition technology, according to the report. Rather than offering voice verification as a stand-alone product, vendors are offering the integrated functionality of voice verification and speech recognition as a combination in devices.

Almost all vendors have either launched or are in the process of launching applications that involve integration of these two technologies, according to Technavio, which expects this feature to emerge as a very handy application in smartphones and replace existing security features, such as lock patterns, passwords, and facial recognition, over the next four years.

According to Technavio, the new generation of smartphone voice assistants, like Google Now, are increasingly popular with consumers because they are more than simply voice-based search engines. Instead, today's smartphone voice assistants, like Google Now, learn behavior over time to display information that will be of interest to users.

Apple's Siri, on the other hand, still simply stores and displays search without analyzing search terms, the firm notes.

In the research firm's opinion, Microsoft's Cortana offers the best features of Siri and Google Now.

In addition to these well-established players, Technavio expects to see a number of third-party apps gain ground in this space. Among them are Nuance Communications' Vlingo, Skyvi, AIVC, and Iris, which offer popular voice recognition services and act as virtual personal assistants to device users. According to Technavio, these solutions have yet to find high adoption among users, but that is expected to change by 2020.

On the automotive front, Technavio has observed that mny automobile manufacturers are now forging partnerships with smart app providers, and that is only going to continue. For example, Ford has forged a partnership with Apple, enabling drivers to use Siri for the easy navigation of various services using a strategically placed button inside the car. Another application being used is IFTTT, which allows drivers to manage other connected devices, such as remotely placed home appliances, through the Internet.

Another vendor in this space is Autonet Mobile, which offers various connected car apps, such as Speed Tracker, Parental Controls, Remote Commands, Valet Mode, Car Health Reports, CarKey, Find My Car, and Curfews Management.

Many more of these types of apps will emerge during the next four years, Technavio expects.

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