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Apple, Nuance Pave the Way for Broad IVR Adoption
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Apple, Nuance Pave the Way for Broad IVR Adoption

March 19, 2012

  By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Have you ever taken a few minutes to think about all the different ways your voice can control a device? We’ve seen it on sci-fi movies for years as voice recognition and dictation have often been viewed as next-generation advancements in technology. I even caught a “Wonder Woman” re-run where computers only used voice recognition to communicate with users – a peek inside IA of the 21st century?

Unfortunately, the computer itself looked like a Lite Brite with a new cover, but it did provide insight into what the future may look like for interacting with our computing devices. No one knew at that time that the next wave in Interactive Voice Response (IVR) would be available with Apple’s new iPad.

According to this Wireless Week (News - Alert) report, the latest device integrates with IVR applications with a microphone button on the keyboard. According to Michael Thompson (News - Alert), vice president of strategy for Nuance – a company steeped in voice recognition technology, this IVR integration demonstrates that voice is becoming the next-generation interface for a myriad of devices.  

Thompson shared with Wireless Week that one game changer for the industry was certainly the introduction of Siri on the iPhone 4S in October. He also noted that Dragon Dictation, a product of Nuance (News - Alert), was one of the first voice recognition apps available on the original iPad.

Any success for Siri and other IVR on the iPad is certainly something Nuance will celebrate as the company’s technology plays at least a partial role. At least we assume so. Wireless Week was quick to point out that neither Apple (News - Alert) nor Nuance will admit Nuance is involved with Siri, although both readily agree – publically – that Nuance is licensed by Apple for a variety of its products.

The more important factor really is the consistent advancement capabilities of the IVR platform given that Apple has aggressively integrated voice recognition on its key product lines – the iPhone (News - Alert) and the iPad. Competing products are likely to do the same if they hope to maintain their place in the market.

According to BCC Research, there are significant and broad opportunities for the implementation of IVR and other voice recognition technologies in the global market. In fact, the firm projected that the demand for these systems will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.8 percent between 2010 and 2015.

Regardless of the brand name behind the IVR technology, the reality is that it is hot and in demand. Those who haven’t yet jumped on this bandwagon may easily be left behind.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
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