Voice command in technological devices has been around longer than people may think. The use of it to operate home appliances was in the works before the more current and popular mobile devices and automobiles. A very common use that has been around for many years is that of an automated phone system. Cutting costs to having to have an employee answer phones has been a big part of adopting automated receptionists.
Like anything else, speech recognition technology continues to evolve. It can now be adapted to serve so many needs/commands. Some popular forms are:
• HOME/OFFICE – A range of software products allows users to dictate to their computer and have words converted to text and to e-mail. It can be as detailed as opening files and configured to categories such as medical or legal.
• DISABLED – People with disabilities can benefit from speech-recognition systems in their daily lives. They can allow personal expression through dictation along with many computer tasks. Some programs can even save speech data to make future commands easier and shorter.
• MOBILE – This category covers automobiles as well as smartphones. In the day and age where the two have to work together for “handsfree” purposes, they can go hand in hand. In addition to encouraging safety while driving, it is a big deal for busy mothers with children in the car.
An entertaining and useful version of the technology has been seen with smartphones. The adaptation to Siri (Apple) has provided amusement for hours and has likely answered some important questions at the same time.
HOW IT WORKS
In order for speech to convert to data, it has to go through many steps. Vibrations (created when you speak) are translated by ADC (analog-to-digital converter) into digital data by sampling the sound. The higher the sampling and precision rates, the better the quality.
Today’s technology in speech recognition is extremely effective with the powerful and complicated use of statistical modeling systems. It can decipher accents and dialects to properly process a message.
Of course, speech recognition technology continues to improve based on the fact that it still has faults. Some issues can be quickly fixed by the user (think background noise interference), while others will improve with time.