By Jessica Kane, professional blogger who writes about technology and other gadgets and gizmos aplenty.
Following the popular releases of Apple Watch, Amazon Echo and Google Now speech recognition based products, long standing consumer resistance, on the grounds of practical usage, to speech recognition technology is beginning to be addressed, thus broadening the acceptance in consumer and technical markets.
With its application being considered for an ever growing range of consumer, educational, business and military products and projects, forecasts are anticipating greater than 22% growth of the speech recognition market through 2016.
This article considers 5 of the most famous and creative applications of speech technology:
1. Apple Watch
The Apple smartwatch, which shipped last year, implements Siri speech recognition technology, maintaining Apple’s technological leadership position in the portable device market.
The smartwatch, modestly marketed as a fashion accessory, demonstrates its usability as being so much more. Its touch screen and digital crown navigation support users who may feel uncomfortable with speaking commands to their wristwatch. However the speech recognition should not be underrated.
With the ability to query Siri about the weather in foreign countries, command it to take a photo, set a wake up alarm, download an iTunes application or make a phone call, Siri’s overwhelmingly servile implementation has prompted high product satisfaction reviews.
2. Amazon Echo
Following the strong lead, set by Apple, the Amazon’s Echo smart bluetooth speaker offers strong voice recognition support, which rivals that of Apple’s smart watch.
The device’s Alexa voice has been compared to Scarlett Johansson’s in “Her.” The responsiveness of the voice recognition supports a wide range of accents and vocabulary, and supports wake up word activation. In step with Siri, Alexa responds to weather, traffic, trivia and news requests as well as application control commands.
The Echo’s extensibility is made available through its Skills third party development support.
3. Nuance Voice Recognition
While Nuance’s voice recognition technology isn’t readily recognized as a specific product, per se, the NASDAQ traded company (NUAN), has been responsible for leading speech recognition innovation since its early inception. Nuance is the technology which lies behind Apple’s Siri speech recognition, a relationship which has been evinced in several stock price jumps following Apple press releases concerning its own Siri developments and implementations.
Prior to Siri, Nuance earned its renown in voice recognition for its award winning Dragon computer dictation software.
4. Skully AR-1 Motorbike Helmet
This high tech voice controlled helmet was developed using crowdfunded financing. Featuring a heads up display with feeds from a rear view camera, the display provides a 180 degree view with a lower quadrant minimized rear view.
The Skully supports hands free music streaming, calling, intelligent helmet to helmet communications and GPS navigation to a bluetooth connected portable device, which brings motorbike helmet technology in line with other automotive technological innovations.
5. EasyVR 3 Voice Recognition Module
While this particular speech recognition innovation may be a bit on the techie side, its application has too much potential to pass by.
The EasyVR 3 is a single board self contained digital module that allows hobbyists to implement speech recognition technologies into their hardware applications.
Distributed by Robotshop, the EasyVR 3 Voice Recognition Module supports easy integration into hobbyist and electronic inventor’s breadboards, a type of plug and play circuit board. The module, which costs slightly below $40, can be implemented with speech recognition software that can be programmed to any language, but supports English, German, French, Italian and Japanese out of the box.
The affordability and ease of implementation of such high tech modules opens the speech technology potential to the inventiveness of individual hobbyists and private inventors.
Speech recognition technology provides solutions ranging from novel consumer applications to therapeutic and medical possibilities. The technology is currently used in motorcycle helmets, smart watches, cell phones, computer software applications and increasingly in prototypes for civilian aviation and military applications. The low cost affordability increases its application by opening the door to inventive uses by private individuals.