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How Voice Recognition Technology Works and Its Top Uses

According to a recent report published by Statista in January 2021, the global voice recognition market size was forecasted to grow from $10.7 billion in 2019 to $27.16 billion by 2025.

With the estimated CAGR from 2020 to 2025 amounting to 16.8 percent, you can imagine the pace at which the voice recognition market is growing.

The report further suggests that by 2024, the number of digital voice assistants (or virtual assistants) will reach 8.4 billion units – a number higher than the world’s population.

Now, that’s something worth noticing.

With the rise of Artificial Intelligence and virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, the growth of the voice recognition market is quite Siri-us.

With communication technology evolving at a rapid pace, voice recognition technology is not far behind.

What Is Voice Recognition Technology?

Voice recognition is the ability of a device or system to interpret, understand, transcribe, and respond to voice commands. Voice recognition systems enable users to interact with devices and programs simply by speaking to them.

This technology originated on PCs but has now stretched to smartphones, home devices, and even kitchens and living rooms.

“Shoebox” developed by IBM in the early 1960s is one of the oldest examples of voice recognition technology in action. It could recognize and respond to 16 English words, including the digits from 0 to 9. Since then, it has advanced tremendously.

Two Types of Voice Recognition Today:

  • Text-Dependent- This type of voice recognition depends on the specific set of words the person says. In this case, authentication and identity verification require the user to say a predetermined phrase.

  • Text Independent- This voice recognition does not rely on a specific text that the person says but on conversation speech. Here, the authentication does not require the user to say predetermined phrases. It is independent of that.

How does voice recognition technology work?

Several intricate processes happen at lightning speed for machines to interpret and respond to human voice commands more accurately and faster than humans.

Voice recognition technology works by breaking down the voice command into individual bits of sounds that it can interpret easily. Each of these individual sounds is then analyzed using speech recognition algorithms (such as Artificial Neural Networks and Viterbi Search) to find the closest word fit in that language. Finally, the individual sounds are converted into a digital format, analyzed, and transcribed into text.

This is majorly based on programming and speech patterns stored in a digital database.

The voice recognition technology uses Natural Language Processing (NLP), deep learning neural networks, and other speech recognition algorithms to analyze, understand, and interpret meaning from human language intelligently.

Because processing speed is critical…

A voice recognition program can run a lot faster if the entire vocabulary is loaded into RAM. This will prevent the program from having to search the hard drive for some of the matches that are not found on the RAM.

Top Uses of Voice Recognition Technology

As AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) have matured, the implementation of voice recognition technology has increased incredibly. From tech giants like Google and Amazon to small and medium enterprises, businesses of all sizes and in all verticals seem to be implementing this smart technology to transform the way they interact with and serve customers.

Take a look at these top uses of voice recognition technology today:

Voice Biometry

A report by Global Market Insights indicates that the Asia Pacific voice recognition market is estimated to reach approximately $4 billion (at a CAGR of 23.5%) through 2026 due to the rising adoption of smart electronics devices.

Voice recognition technology has tremendous use in voice biometry that is used by organizations and call centers so commonly today. It offers significant security advantages over other authentication methods like passwords or secret security questions. Moreover, it transforms the customer experience by removing tedious login processes and improving the security of important credentials.

It’s impressive to see how voice recognition technology has enabled businesses to create digital profiles of their customers based on the specific characteristics of their voice commands.

High-quality voice biometrics can ensure that the sensitive personal information of users (that is collected over time through users’ voice commands) is not compromised.

Voice Recognition Technology In Action

Swisscom is an excellent example of a leading telecommunications service provider that has integrated real-time voice recognition technology in all of its call centers to transform the way it interacts with its clientele.

Voice Commerce: The Future of e-Commerce

E-commerce offers an incredible opportunity for voice recognition technology. It is not rare to see searches on e-commerce platforms being carried out without typing or scrolling through information these days.

A stats report suggests that more than 30% of US internet users have used a voice assistant to look for or purchase products. It estimates that voice shopping is estimated to reach $40 Billion in the U.S. by 2022.

Leading e-commerce companies like Amazon have already started capitalizing on this disruptive technology to transform their online customer experience.

Voice recognition technology in this field has enabled customers to shop online conveniently using voice commands and skip the tedious and lengthy process of typing and browsing through tons of information.

This has opened up huge opportunities for e-commerce businesses. When users interact with their devices to purchase a product from your online store, you can gather data on consumer behavior and preferences and use it to personalize your customer experience.

Digital Medical Transcription

It’s been ages since the healthcare industry has been looking for a promising voice recognition and transcription solution to improve the way it manages documents and appointments. Speech-to-text software has already existed in the industry for almost half a century.

Earlier, healthcare organizations tried hiring transcriptionists for this purpose, but it proved to be an erroneous, tedious, and costly approach.

Medical transcription has become an indispensable need for doctors today since it facilitates easy storage and access of medical records. Digital transcription based on voice recognition technology in medical environments offers a myriad of benefits to healthcare professionals, such as:

  • Shortening the average appointment time- By reducing the time a doctor spends on taking notes during each appointment, digital transcription allows doctors to see more patients during their working hours.

  • Easy storage and access of essential medical data- Digital transcription based on voice recognition algorithms automatically stores information in Electronic Health Record Systems (EHRS) which not only ensures compliance but also eases access to medical records.
  • Improving doctors’ workflows and efficiency- By transcribing human commands into text in seconds, voice recognition technology can save an incredible amount of doctors who operate in time-sensitive environments.

  • Enhancing the accuracy of clinical documentation- Voice recognition technology has revolutionized the medical transcription process incredibly by putting a stop to human errors and other inaccuracies that are a part of the traditional transcription processes.

A report by Global Market Insights suggests that voice recognition technology is gaining high popularity due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare organizations and professionals are using the technology to identify infected individuals using variations in their voice characteristics.

The report further shows that in October 2020, the Mayo Clinic partnered with Vocalis Health, Inc., an AI-based vocal biometric solutions provider, to develop new voice-based tools for monitoring, screening, and detecting patient health. The collaboration helped doctors to identify vocal biomarkers for Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) and treat their patients.

Key players operating in the voice recognition market

  • Aculab PLC
  • Kaizen Secure Voiz (KSV)
  • Agnitio SL
  • Daon Inc.
  • NEC Corporation
  • Nuance Communications, Inc.
  • Pindrop Security, Inc.
  • Veritas
  • Vocalect Biometric Solutions, LLC
  • VoicePIN

Voice recognition technology: Where is it headed?

The future of voice recognition technology holds incredible potential. It is expected to make computers more human and allow users to interact with them the way they interact with humans.

A recent news update on Macworld claims that a new Apple TV model (controlled via Siri) is likely to be launched in spring 2021, which is when the next Apple event is rumored to be held. It is expected to be controlled by Apple’s voice assistant Siri. Voice recognition technology is going to witness a disruption like never before.

Today, voice user interfaces can be found in smartphones, televisions, smart homes, home assistants, and a range of other products.

Tech giants are now using various popular speech SDKs, libraries, and tools (for example: Siri Shortcuts, Azure Speech APIs, Google Cloud Text to Speech API, Amazon Transcribe, Nuance, iSpeech) to create flawless voice user interface designs.

We’re likely to witness more wearable devices equipped with voice recognition technology in the next couple of years, similar to how Apple’s voice assistant SIRI is equipped with Airpods.

Jellyfish Technologies has a proven record of integrating this technology into mobile apps to give them a competitive edge.

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