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Voice Recognition: Technologies and Global Markets

  • September 2010
  • -
  • BCC Research


Table of Contents

The voice recognition technologies market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.8% between 2010 and 2015. The total market is valued at an estimated $38.4 billion in 2010 and is expected to reach $58.4 in 2015.

Voice recognition software technologies need hardware to transmit the signals as well as abate ambient noise. This sector of the market is worth an estimated $16.5 billion in 2010 and will grow at a 9.8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach $26.3 billion in 2015.

Automatic speech recognition and text-to-speech software work together to voice-enable many applications.  Software sales will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8%, from a value of $13.6 billion in 2010 to a value of $18.9 billion in 2015.



No longer narrowly associated with assistive and customer care applications, voice recognition technologies are becoming integral parts of products and services that span a much broader array of industries. With worldwide software revenues expected to reach $18.9 billion by 2015, this maturing industry owes much of its growth to advances from the critical triad of automatic speech recognition (ASR), text-to-speech (TTS), and speaker verification (SV) technologies.

Companies across all sectors, seeking a competitive edge that will differentiate them in an increasingly crowded business environment, want products that can help them retain as well as grow their customers. Brokerages, airlines, and banks rely on voice recognition functionality to not only enhance their customer contacts, but also to comply with security requirements dictated by law and the security-conscious expectations of customers.

To address the rapidly growing mobile traffic demand of such highly developed regions as North America and Europe, voice recognition providers are partnering with manufacturers who are loading their products with voice-activated multimodal options. These applications do everything from help drivers navigate to their destination and workers voice-pick warehouse inventory to aid doctors automate medical transcription processes and allow Web users to browse by voice commands.

Marketers with a watchful eye are not only training their sights on the pent-up product demand of growing Asia-Pacific populations, they are also factoring in the potential of the emerging middle class in Latin America when they develop their marketing strategies.


Companies in the voice recognition space are facing similar challenges as other technology markets. Converging technologies offer the promise of new products and markets. But they also invite disruptive activities inherent in mergers and acquisitions — all occurring during the worst economic downturn of the new millennium.

Customers are applying the same measuring stick to voice-aided products and services as they do to other products: They value accuracy, speed, and efficiency. Whether obtaining stock quotes from their smart phone, getting wake-up calls from voice-enabled alarm clocks, or accessing voice-translated-email, consumers not only are increasing their expectations about the content quality but also about the quality of the experience.

Traditional habits persist, especially when it comes to customer service. No matter how compelling the content or efficient the voice-enabled transaction, many consumers still prefer to talk to a live operator. They also remember unsuccessful experiences with speech recognition applications that were implemented by early industry adopters.

Choosing voice recognition solutions represents a significant information technology (IT) investment — a fact not lost on companies that, in better economic times, focus primarily on strategic growth. Compelled to keep discretionary spending to a minimum, companies are more inclined to purchase products and services that can show a quantitative return on investment. Traditionally, call centers, with their highly developed statistical databases and a multitude of speech-enabled processes, provide some of the most compelling evidence that properly integrated voice recognition applications can help companies realize cost savings of as much as 80%.

Given the continued adoption of wireless devices and the seemingly insatiable consumer and business demand for unlimited access to information, it is likely that many enterprising companies will choose voice recognition solutions, either hosted at their site or shared in a cloud-computing environment, for competitive advantage even when the short-term economic landscape remains murky.

This report will analyze in depth, voice recognition technologies and the market and applications they serve. It addresses such questions as:

Who is using these technologies?
What benefits do they accrue from using them?
At what price points do they buy them?
Which markets will reap the most benefits from their adoption?
Which issues must be addressed to generate a successful return on investment?


This report emphasizes market potential for voice recognition technologies as well as current and future forces shaping the voice-enabled market. It is targeted at manufacturers, supply chain personnel, marketing managers, and futurists.


This report analyzes voice recognition technologies and their markets. It recognizes the fact that software and hardware technologies act in tandem, building the momentum needed for its success. Additionally, tracking the growth of traditional and emerging voice-enabled devices is important since these media will promote and extend voice recognition’s reach.

An overview of the voice recognition industry precedes later chapters that review the main voice recognition categories, discuss top supplier market share, new technologies, and the unique challenges faced by each category in the future. Five-year forecasts follow, segmented by voice recognition categories as well as expansion into end markets.

Succeeding chapters discuss enabling technologies, corporate and national research and development funding, the organizational and economic makeup of the voice recognition industry, and the legislative, political, and environmental issues facing the industry. The changing dynamics of international market share also are addressed.

The appendices contain upcoming voice recognition industry-related conferences and recent patent grants, as well as a list of related mergers and acquisitions, licensing arrangements, and partnerships. 


The material presented in this report is based on information gathered from personal contacts with participants within the voice recognition industry as well as an analysis of the technologies, issues, and concerns gathered from technical papers and industry conferences. Our final analysis and projections combine the consensus of primary contacts and our assumptions regarding the impact of both historical and emerging trends.

Additional data were obtained from analysis of secondary sources. These include trade publications, trade associations, company literature, and online databases. This research was done to supplement our understanding of applications, markets, and trends in the voice recognition industry. All dollar estimates in this report are based on 2010 constant dollars. 


Patricia Kutza, the author of this report, is a veteran business and technology journalist. She has written extensively about technology business and cultural trends for a variety of print and new-media outlets. This report, IFT039B Voice Recognition: Technologies and Global Markets, is an update of a report she wrote in 2002. She is also the author of the BCC Research report, SMC047A New Chips for New Applications.

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