Market research firm Tractica is predicting a bright future for voice and speech recognition technologies. In a synopsis for a new report, the firm asserts that they will become ‘a primary interface for many smartphone users’ over the next few years.
Tractica predicts significant growth for mobile native speech recognition in particular, asserting that while it was on 45 percent of all mobile devices last year, that number will grow to 82 percent by the year 2020. Voice recognition technologies, meanwhile, are expected to have an attach rate of 36 percent by 2020, despite having virtually no presence on mobile devices now. Tractica attributes the growth to the continuing rise of traditional use cases such as hands-free calling, but also to “high-growth areas like virtual digital assistants (VDAs), always-on interfaces, and voiceprint identification of individual speakers.”
It’s a difficult area to predict. Anecdotally, we have seen evidence of the limits of the technology in cases like the USAA mobile app, which uses multimodal user authentication including face, fingerprint, and voice recognition; that company’s own customer feedback data indicates that many users prefer the face and fingerprint modalities due to self-consciousness in using voice authentication in public settings. At the same time, voiceprint identification is increasingly being adopted by call-in centers, particularly in the financial services industry; while the Internet of Things is presenting a number of opportunities for the integration of voice command technologies for the “always-on interfaces” of various household objects. There are certainly a number of areas with lots of room for these technologies to grow.