Software Development Blog
How Far Can Voice Recognition Software Take Us?
Talking to a device to accomplish tasks used to be a futuristic dream. For many, it’s now a way of life.
The Future Is Here: The Evolution of Voice Recognition Software.
Speaking into a digital device to accomplish tasks used to be a futuristic dream. For many, it’s now a way of life. It may have started with smartphones and cars, but current voice recognition software lets people do a lot more than “call Joe” or find the address for a nearby restaurant. TVs, alarm systems and even appliances can be controlled by voice commands these days, as developers are now able to connect the functionality of these applications to voice recognition software.
The ability to communicate with our devices has been a goal of researchers since as far back as 1936, when Bell Laboratory ran a trial of electronic speech synthesis, notes Digitalist Magazine contributor Geetika Shukla. In the 1950s, says an article from the MIT Technology Review, new computers could recognize as many as 10 words if spoken by one person. By the 1990s, machines could create decent transcripts based on the spoken word.
Since then, the technology has improved enormously, mostly in the last 10 years or so. Voice activation software is now beginning to simulate a real person, or an assistant, who performs tasks and finds answers when asked to do so. Users can tell devices equipped with voice-control to find a phone number, get directions, set reminders and alarms, play music, search the web, send a text message, turn on and off lights, or change TV programming – and that’s just a short list. But all of these conveniences are not the only reason voice recognition technology is becoming more of a reality.
Why voice recognition is so popular.
By allowing hands-free interaction, voice recognition allows for multi-tasking and increased productivity. Imagine someone is cooking in a home kitchen while listening to music through a speaker system. This person needs to also simultaneously create a digital grocery list based on the ingredients being used up and check the traffic report to see if his or her spouse will be coming home late. Conveniently, this can all be done with simple voice commands. If all these tasks had to be done separately by hand, it would take much longer.
In today’s culture, people are always looking for ways to be more efficient, and voice-activated commands make that easier by removing the need to type every letter out on a keyboard or search, scroll and click to find information. Mary Meeker, a well-known financial analyst, spoke at a conference in southern California recently and told attendees her prediction that 50 percent of all searches online will be done through voice and image by 2020. It’s hardly an outlandish prediction, as voice control is more natural and may allow people to be more productive.
What does the future of voice recognition software look like?
While communication with our devices seems incredible and almost futuristic, society seems to be heading in that direction. The goal is to create devices that understand and react to conversational speech by searching multiple sources for the most relevant information and providing any additional resources based on context. Although a lot of progress has and is being made, technology is still somewhat lacking in these areas. But the future of voice recognition software is bright.
As improvements in voice recognition accuracy continue, it’s probable the market will need more devices that are “always listening” or ready to interject personalized assistance any time it is needed. This may require the creation of new, even-more intelligent speech recognition software that can connect to more advanced devices, which researchers and developers are likely already building.
Data suggests the future of this industry is going to continue to see rapid growth as researchers keep finding the latest and most advanced technologies. Voice recognition software will expand further into additional products and become a natural part of life, providing information where and when people need it. The future of speech recognition is likely to include advancements in the following:
- Real-Time Data Integration: Devices will be able to pull in real-time information to provide more relevant answers and better determine context based on the request provided and timely outside factors.
- Conversational Interfaces: Voice-driven assistants will begin to better understand personalized, conversational speech as opposed to set commands. Software will become more focused on determining meaning and providing solutions for the intent, not word triggers, based on the person making the request.
- AI Applications: Web APIs are allowing developers to create a voice interface for almost any website or application, and the tech giants will keep investing in web-based voice search, making it more accessible for smaller businesses.
- Self-Driving Cars: Currently, many vehicles offer voice-driven entertainment and navigation features, but other capabilities, such as voice-commanded driving, may be just around the corner.
- Smart Homes: This advancement is already making huge strides, as products like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home are currently available. These gadgets will allow people to connect technology within their home and control everything from their alarm system to their appliances, lighting, sound and other electronics with their voice.
As these new solutions emerge in the voice recognition market, current systems and applications must be able to integrate if they want to keep up with today’s multitasking consumer.
Integrating voice recognition with existing technology:
Whether for commercial or in-house interfaces and workflows, there are two primary ways to add voice recognition software to an existing application. The first is mainly for developers, as it entails implementation and requires coding knowledge. Several companies, such as Google, Apple and Amazon, offer software development kits (SDKs) that include software libraries, code samples and documentation to assist in the integration of speech recognition capabilities into a platform.The second, and best, option when looking to integrate voice recognition technology with existing systems is to hire a software development company to do it for you. A professional can also build a new system with verbal capabilities if a total refresh of old software is necessary.
Although it is not likely that electronic devices will soon be equivalent to humans, advancing technologies are making devices smarter. This includes improving voice recognition and making a system’s understanding of speech more realistic and natural. As research and development continue, voice-controlled technology will likely play a bigger role in daily life and the latest and greatest devices will have to include speech recognition software to keep up with user demand.
Contact Syrinx with questions about how we can incorporate speech recognition into your business.
Resources - MobileIndustryReview.com - TechnologyReview.com - TechCrunch.com - DigitalMag.com - Recode.net - TheGuardian.com - Globalme.net
Syrinx, Cardis Ink Deal To Make Low-Value e-Payments Profitable for Fuel and C-stores
Another Move Forward for Syrinx and Cardis, Leaders in C-Store Payments
Syrinx and Cardis International have forged a partnership to drive value in the C-Store space with a card aggregation solution and mobile commerce software service that integrates with existing payment gateways, mobile platforms, loyalty programs and POS systems.
Cardis's patented aggregation technology together with Syrinx's software strategy and development services enables multiple credit and debit transactions to be aggregated into one larger transaction thus significantly reducing associated interchange and acquiring fees.
Jonathan E. Nierenberg, Chief Marketing Officer of Cardis International, noted, "Cardis helps bring fuel and convenience store purchases to the 21st century with our transaction aggregation technology. We are delighted to introduce our new payment technology with Syrinx. It raises the bar and sets a new standard for the industry by bringing a frictionless mobile experience to this most frequently used of retail transactions while reducing overall costs of processing. Furthermore, we anticipate applying Cardis technology to other low value payment related transactions in the QSR, gaming, content download, vending and e-commerce markets."
Luke Howarth, President of Syrinx, commented, "Transaction costs on low value electronic payments are disproportionately high relative to the low purchase amounts within the convenience stores. The Cardis Solution not only offers more convenience to drivers, but stands to save, in aggregate, millions of dollars a year in merchant fees to convenience store owners."
"The high cost of small ticket transactions have plagued the industry for a long time, and often is the reason why some convenience stores have a threshold to meet for the usage of credit cards," stated Phil Paisnel, ex-MasterCard VP of Omni-channel Merchants and industry retail veteran.
Features & Benefits of the Cardis-Syrinx Partner Solution
- Pay less for processing
- Reduce fees paid for Low Value Payments (LVP)
- Deliver robust data you can use to drive targeted offers and increase customer loyalty and offer new incremental transaction data and insights into customers' buying habits
- Drive enhanced product offerings & customer engagement
Syrinx is a software development and consulting firm that brings a deep understanding of Microsoft technologies including .NET and SharePoint 2007 to organizations that are dependent on technology for competitive advantage. As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, the company has developed solutions within the financial services, Internet, call center, real estate, publishing, health care, and biosciences industries. Founded in 1998, Syrinx is based in Waltham, Mass. and has been recognized on the Boston Business Journal's List of "Areas Largest IT Consulting Firms" and the "Inc. 500" list for 2007. For more information, visit www.syrinx.com or call (888) 5-SYRINX.
About Cardis International:
Cardis Enterprises International BV provides unique solutions for processing of low value payments with game changing cost efficiency. It aligns the interests of banks, payments schemes and retailers in driving the global move to cashless payments by lowering the cost of electronic transactions. Please visit www.cardis-international.com.
Jonathan E. Nierenberg
Chief Marketing Officer
445 Central Ave. Suite 201 | Cedarhurst, NY 11516
o. 516-374-9500 | c. 516-770-2202
160 Gould St. Suite 116 | Needham, MA 02494
o: 781-487-7800 x107 | c: 617 571 2419
What Does The Microsoft-Xamarin News Mean For Brands With Mobile Apps?
Consumers demand apps, and businesses keep supplying them, but many companies are struggling to maintain such a fast pace when it comes to mobile app development. After all, there are a lot of moving parts that must line up perfectly to develop an app in a traditional sense with all the bells and whistles – dedicated native developers, development tools, backend systems, testing environments and more. That is one of the major reasons why brands today are turning to rapid mobile app development.
With approaches that entail quickly creating high-performing and great-looking apps, businesses are able to release their apps faster, which means generating a return on those investments sooner. But rapid mobile app development isn't just a strategy. It requires a solution: a mobile app development platform that provides frameworks and APIs for creating custom apps. That tool must also, however, allow developers to code apps that support all mobile device operating systems.
Enter Xamarin. This rapid mobile development platform is invaluable in 2016. It ensures that brands can build, test and support apps throughout their entire lifecycles thanks to a coding language called C#. That code is automatically converted to native code for each mobile OS via a hosted .NET environment. With Xamarin quick cross-platform development gets simpler. Third-party app development firms take advantage of these tools, and the results are great. It's because Xamarin allows developers to create any app they want – Xamarin supports apps, such as JetBlue's, as well as mobile games such as Bastion.
Xamarin rapid mobile development platform is invaluable in 2016.
In the news
Recently, Microsoft announced that its has agreed to acquire Xamarin. This might sound surprising, but Ars Technica's Peter Bright reported that this partnership has been a long time coming. As the source explained, Xamarin was a spin-off company of Ximian , which originally created Mono – an open source version of .NET. And Microsoft released the first .NET in the 2000s as a way to develop cross-platform apps. Once Xamarin began its life as a tech firm, it started to finish Mono. Therefore, Bright asserted, technically speaking, Xamarin finished what Microsoft started years ago – it's come full circle.
Then, in the past few years, Microsoft and Xamarin partnered to integrate Microsoft's Visual Studio with the rapid mobile development platform, Bright wrote. In 2014, the relationship grew strong when Microsoft made .NET partially open source, giving Xamarin better support for .NET. So, historically, the partnership between Microsoft and Xamarin has yielded good results.
In that regard, many industry experts think that the acquisition is promising. More importantly, it reflects how important cross-platform mobile app development really has become. Microsoft understands that app development must improve across the board, and it wants to be in on the ground floor of innovation. WIRED's Klint Finley supported that thinking, clearing the air around what exactly this acquisition means for the underlying Xamarin platform and other backend services. The good news, Finely explained, is that this wasn't a case of absorbing key players from Xamarin and throwing away the rest – a process known in the industry as "acquihiring."
"This is definitely not an acquihire," Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft's cloud and enterprise group, told the source. "There are more than 300 people on the Xamarin team. We very much view this acquisition as an opportunity to take what they've built and make it a core part of our strategy."
The impact of it all
Therein lies the question for many brands looking into Xamarin right now as a solution for mobile app development. If these companies already have a plan to leverage the platform with help from a third-party development, will anything change? No, but also yes.
For one, out of this deal, Microsoft gets some benefits, yet the acquisition isn't likely to change Xamarin or mobile app development for a while. For ZDNet, Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Jeffrey Hammond and Principal Analyst Michael Facemire wrote that the mobile backend as a service aspect of Xamarin could soon live on Microsoft's Azure public cloud service infrastructure.
When it comes to businesses that want to use Xamarin, the Forrester analysts asserted that this acquisition makes the mobile development platform more attractive. Now, "mainstream buyers" have no reason to be concerned about using a cloud service from a smaller provider, they argued, and since few mobile developers "are comfortable with the current status quo," they now have a great option.