The acceptance of Voice Recognition (VR) as a marketing tool is growing. That’s created a boom in the field of voice recognition software. When did you first take notice of Voice Recognition? Siri was many people’s introduction to the technology, while others were first greeted by IVRs. Voice Recognition systems can be as simple as telling an automated operator “sales” or “service” when you call a car dealership, and can be as complicated as booking a flight to Athens, Georgia, not Athens, Greece. Voice Recognition is being used in many different industries and in many different ways. The medical industry was an early adaptor, using voice recognition for dictation. It’s now commonplace for banks and financial institutions, who use voice recognition systems for much of their business. Voice Recognition usage doesn’t stop there. In fact, you may be surprised just how ingratiated into our lives it’s becoming. Background Voice Recognition has become the catch-all phrase for the entire field of computational linguistics. In truth, the opposite is true. Voice Recognition is a part of the field of computational linguistics, which also includes speech recognition and speech-to-text, among others. In its early stages, Voice Recognition was considered a computer program that recognition your voice and only your voice. In this sense, it was more of a security application. The phrase “voice recognition,” like the field itself, has expanded to include other uses and applications. That’s a good thing, as “computational linguistics” really is a mouthful. Mobile Interactive Voice Applications These are growing in number and in capability. We’ve mentioned Siri on the iPhone, which might be the first mobile application you came across, but it’s hardly the first. It’s certainly opened the floodgates for a variety of mobile voice recognition applications. Google Voice Search/Siri: They are both major smartphone platforms (iPhone and Android) have voice recognition apps that offer hands-free operation. Ask Wiki: Do you love Wikipedia? If so, you must download their voice recognition app. The results are provided in seconds, which is crazy-fast considering the size of the vocabulary necessary to run the app. Dictation Applications These are widely embraced by the medical profession and are gaining in popularity in the business world overall. In fact, businesses aren’t the only ones enjoying the convenience of voice activated dictation – consumers are adopting them, too. Google Translate: It’s a voice recognition application and more. You can type to translate from one language to more than 100 other languages. You can use your camera to take a picture of a sign, for instance, and have the app translate it. You can even use two-way automatic speech translation from one to another of 40 languages. Dictation on OS X. It’s easy to dictate something from voice-to-text with the Dictation feature. OneNote/Evernote: Evernote is more established than OneNote. OneNote is playing catch up, so allow me to focus on Evernote. The huge bonus number one is that it’s cross platform; you can sync notes between PC and Mac. You can also add images to your notes. It’s the (mostly) hands free dictation app that’s great for personal and business use. Voice Activated Appliances Yes, voice activated appliances are on the way. You will begin to see them as soon as a deal is struck between the chip makers and the hardware manufacturers. I couldn’t think of a market for appliances you can talk to other than people who have everything, but then I thought of a group who would be helped dramatically by the technology – persons with certain disabilities. These are people who will benefit tremendously by voice activated appliances. Amazon Echo: That’s only one way to connect your home products to your voice. The other is Amazon Echo. These are some key features for the new Amazon Echo. It’ll hear you from across the room with far-field voice recognition, even while music is playing It’ll answer questions, read audiobooks, the news, report traffic and weather, provide information on local businesses, provide sports scores and schedules, and more using the Alexa Voice Service It’ll control lights, switches, and thermostats with compatible WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Insteon, Nest, and ecobee smart home devices So, be ready ladies and gentlemen. There’s more voice activation on the way and it’s only becoming more functional, more intuitive, and more relied-upon with each new generation.