Ever since at least 1997, Bill Gates has been predicting that speech recognition will be an integral aspect of the PC experience. In his 5-to-10-year timeframe, it never happened, but not for lack of trying: Dragon Systems, headquartered in the U.S., was losing money selling speech recognition software before it was bought by Belgian competitor Lernout & Hauspie in the spring of 2000, just after L&H paid $1 billion for Dictaphone. The Dragon founders, however, had the misfortune of watching their company go into reorganization after accounting irregularities made the L&H stock worthless.
ScanSoft, which made optical character recognition products, bought the assets, but even now, neither Nuance (as ScanSoft renamed itself) nor Microsoft has made speech interfaces work for general-purpose computing. In vertical domains, however, speech interfaces -- particularly telephonic customer service and medical transcription -- are working well.
www.getdesign.in - My periodic blog exploring the world of business, experience design and interaction, with a smattering of gadgetry and social media. A world where business, people and technology meet.
Let's Fix Things: For over two decades I've been consulting in Communications Design: Everything from business strategy and processes, through to technology, interaction and customer experience. The thoughts here are my own, not necessarily that of my employer.
I have a penchant for spotting patterns and fixing broken user and customer experiences. Even my Bumblebee project hasn't escaped - I've been using Six Sigma techniques to study and predict their behaviour patterns. ☺