Speech Technology and Wearable Technology – A Match Made In Heaven
Our insights from the Wearables TechCon in San Jose, CA.
We’ve recently published several stories about the future of speech technology. Researchers have forecasted the speech and voice recognitions markets to see rapid growth in the coming years. We also saw speech recognition and text-to-speech make a big impact at the augmented world expo last month.
This week, we attended the Wearables TechCon in the heart of Silicon Valley to get an idea for the trends that are driving the wearable technology industry and what it means for speech technology. And from the looks of it, speech technology is getting big.
Why are we so optimistic for the future of speech technology? It’s because speech technology and wearable technology are a match made in heaven.
Speech technology can be broken down into two main functions. One is the ability to understand human language, or speech recognition. And the other is the ability to respond and recreate human language, or text-to-speech. The main benefit of speech technology is that it gives users a completely hands-free experience when controlling their devices. It makes it easier.
Wearable technology is a type of tech that can be worn by the consumer. Most people think of fitness trackers when thinking of wearable technology. The purpose of wearable technology is that it goes wherever you go without you having to hold it. It makes it easier to use the device and get the benefits from it.
Both technologies achieve the same goal, they make your devices hands-free. When you add them together, it gives you the ability to control those devices and receive information from them, while still keeping them hands-free.
It is for this reason that speech technology and wearable technology go hand in hand. At the Wearables TechCon, we spoke with companies and innovators who are merging these technologies together and looked for trends driving the industry.
One company we saw exhibiting at the show was Sensory Inc. Sensory is focused on improving user experience through voice and vision technologies.
One product they were featuring was TrulyHandsfree Voice Control, an on-device speech recognition technology that recognizes, analyzes, and responds to human speech. We got to see a demo application featuring TrulyHandsfree’s technology and watched how quickly the app responded to questions such as “What’s my heart rate?”
What was also impressive was that the phone was on airplane mode the entire time, meaning it wasn’t accessing the internet. Many speech recognition engines search the internet for meanings and answers, but TrulyHandsfree was “on-device”. It didn’t need to access the internet. This was one example we saw of speech technology becoming better.
Sensory’s TruelyHandsfree has also gotten rave reviews for providing a more convenient experience thanks to the accuracy (even in noisy enviorments), quickness, and low power consumption of their technology. To date, more than one billion devices use Sensory’s technologies. This includes smartphones, watches, and headsets from companies like Samsung, LG, and Sony.
It appeared to us that speech technology was being used more in these devices because the technology has gotten much better recently. Another company we spoke with, Applause, echoed those sentiments.
Applause provides testing solutions for applications. This includes mobile, web, wearables, and just about any other type of device you can think of.
When it came to wearables, they told us they’ve been seeing more demand for speech recognition and text-to-speech. They mentioned that a big reason for this was that the technology was getting better.
They mentioned that apps are doing a better job at understanding consumers. They told us that machine learning lets the applications learn the patterns of speech that is unique to each user and use that to better understand what is being said when they speak, improving the accuracy of the app.
Other improvements they’ve recently noticed include how some apps were able to seamlessly switch languages without missing beat, the ability to recognize heavy accents, and quickness of responses from the devices. They’ve also noticed text-to-speech being used more to make apps safer to use, such as navigation apps that read out directions to users while they drive.
There was a noticeable buzz in the air about the immediate future for wearable technologies. Speech technology is being used more often to help provide a hands-free interface and an improved interface. For this reason, among others, the future of wearable technology looks bright.
In fact, Forbes published an article in February saying that the wearable tech market would be worth $34 billion by 2020. It is currently valued at $14 billion. That’s a lot of growth in a short amount of time.
The future also looks bright for speech technology. App developers continue to integrate speech recognition and text-to-speech functionality into their applications. Don’t fall behind and miss out on the boom speech technology and wearable technology are about to see.
What do you think?
What do you think the future holds for speech and wearable tech? Did you attend the Wearables TechCon? What are your insights? Let us know in the comments!
Learn More about NeoSpeech’s Text-to-Speech
To learn more about the different areas in which Text-to-Speech technology can be used, visit our Text-to-Speech Areas of Application page. And to learn more about the products we offer, visit our Text-to-Speech Products page.
If you’re interested in adding Text-to-Speech software to your application or would like to learn more about TTS, please fill out our Sales Inquiry form and one of our friendly team members will be happy to help.