Speech Technology Magazine Cover

March/April 2002

Magazine Features

Embedded Speech Recognition: Is It Poised for Growth?

The embedded speech recognition market has been around about as long as the speech technology industry itself. Over twenty years ago, products such as telephones and toys emerged on the market with algorithms running on 8 bit micro-controllers. Most of the products used speaker dependent recognition requiring training, but some products appeared using early DSPs that implemented speaker independent algorithms. A U.S. subsidiary of Tomy Corporation was formed to market voice recognition products including a telephone that had a single button for voice dialing and speaker dependent digit dialing. Embedded implementations throughout the 1980’s tended to be either high in cost or poor in performance.

Europe Embraces Speech

Speech technology is fast becoming the interface or “lever” that enables the people of the world to communicate - anyplace, anywhere, anytime, on any device and in any language. This is especially true in Europe, where geographic boundaries, multilingual and multinational requirements, and regulations pose a unique set of challenges, and where different, and sometimes more complex voice-enabled solutions are required.

Europe Likely To Drive Multimodal Experience

With so many Europeans packing a mobile phone these days, network operators are finding it hard to deliver the revenue performances of past days. Value-added services like Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) were supposed to deliver the needed top line growth, but WAP has had difficulty achieving mass market acceptance thus far.

Four Battles that Will Shape the Future of Voice Services

In order to gain insight into the future dynamics of the enhanced voice market, a U.S. businessperson need only hop on a plane and travel across the Atlantic. Europe has a more advanced telecommunications infrastructure and services offering, as well as much broader wireless penetration than the U.S. The European market offers a unique window for previewing new trends and is an important leading indicator of similar developments in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Speech and Language Technology: Going Global, Thinking Local

In China, Tom.com, a voice portal, provides virtually anytime, anyplace automated access to stock, entertainment and weather information in Mandarin - in a country where the presence of cell phones outpaces the number of PCs by far.

The Business Case for Voice Authentication

Major breakthroughs in the development of voice authentication have taken place in the last decade, and the market potential for this technology is evolving rapidly. Due to the unique characteristics of the human voice, voice authentication is being used to verify the identity of individuals for the purposes of public safety and national security or to ensure the confidentiality of sensitive data or information. At the Canadian border, voice authentication is used to identify and track frequent travelers. The United Kingdom government’s Supervision and Surveillance Program also uses voice authentication to identify and control curfew orders of youth parolees.


Forward Thinking

Building User Interfaces for Multiple Devices

Users can choose from among several devices to access the World Wide Web. These devices include PCs with a visual Web browser, such as Netscape's Navigator or Microsoft's Internet Explorer, to interpret HTML files downloaded from a Web server and executed on the PC; telephones and cell phones with a verbal browser to interpret VoiceXML files downloaded from a Web server and executed on a voice server; and WAP phones with a visual browser to interpret WML files downloaded from a server and executed on the WAP phone.

Truth in Advertising

Biometrics are hot—including voice-based biometrics. For those of us who have been in the industry for a while, it is like the beginning of spring after a long, hard winter.

Human Factor

Will Unified Messaging be the Beachhead Opportunity for Conversational Voice User Interfaces?

That speech technologies represent a market poised for tremendous growth is scarcely subject to debate. The precise form that the emerging market will take is still, however, somewhat unknown. Some believe that speech application users will demand essentially unrestricted conversational user interfaces. But is this belief supported by the facts?

Industry View

Relentless Specialization, Jacques Ellul and Schnabel's Pit Bull

Two recent conversations about voice recognition in telephony networks have me musing about the risks of technical evolution, captured by the idea of "relentless specialization." An insight into this somewhat antiseptic phrase is found in French philosopher Jacques Ellul's work La Technique.

A View from AVIOS

The Evolution of Global Speech Technology

The voice user interface is evolving into a standard means for communication between humans and technology and is having a profound influence on the way people live. As such, the market for these speech applications is growing worldwide. Following necessary research and development, multilingual product offerings continue to expand, particularly for countries where more advanced telecommunications technology is common.

Voice Value

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.

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