In the past few years, voice recognition technology has become a must-have feature on many smartphones. Siri on iOS devices, Google Now on Android devices and speech commands on Windows Phone 8 have brought this revolutionary technology to the masses. While this technology is changing the way we access information, it is just the beginning of the possibilities.
The auto industry was among the first to widely adopt voice recognition. SYNC, a collaboration between Ford and Microsoft, was one of the first of its kind and is now in about 5 million Ford cars. The Mercedes Comand system supports several smartphone platforms, using voice commands to make calls, control the rear-seat infotainment system, access traffic reports, turn-by-turn directions and endless audio options, and more.
Over the next couple of years, televisions are anticipated to be one of the biggest areas of growth for voice recognition technology. Internet-connected TVs and enhanced cable offerings now provide many more viewing options, like DVR and on-demand programming. However, clumsy remote controls and cluttered channel guides sometimes make searching difficult. Voice commands, used in Google TV and Samsung Smart TVs, allow users to search for shows by actor, control apps and even post to social media sites.
Voice recognition technology is making a big impact on the healthcare industry by increasing efficiency, and saving time and money. Physicians can use apps to transcribe patient notes to their electronic health records systems, so they no longer have to be tied to a computer. These specialized apps can also interpret clinical language, allowing doctors to order prescriptions and lab tests.
To find out more about the future of voice recognition, see this article from the MIT Technology Review.