You’ve probably heard about voice recognition technology and seen it in action, but you may not know exactly how it works.
For example, do you know that voice recognition software is made possible by a speech recognition system?
The basic idea behind this technology is that the system records and compares your voice to a “template” stored in the computer’s memory. You speak into a microphone, and the software compares your voice patterns with those stored on a chip.
The template is a digital version of the human vocal tract-the mouth, larynx, pharynx, and nasal passages-that represent the unique sound waves created when someone speaks.
But what are some other things you should know about this new technology? How does it work, exactly?
How Does Voice Recognition Work?
Voice recognition works by matching the voice pattern of an individual person rather than by memorizing specific words. The computer compares your unique vocal sound patterns to its stored vocabulary, and it looks for the best match between the two.
The stored templates are stored in a database or library so that they can be compared to the voice patterns of users speaking into a microphone.
In order to store the sound of a person’s voice, for example for use by a speech recognition system, requires that both voice and characteristics must be recorded. Such a recording is called a “voiceprint,” or in more scientific terms, a “vocal biometric.”
Voice recognition technology uses many different patterns. It can identify specific characteristics of the voice, such as pitch, tempo, rhythm, and intonation. Your voice can be used to identify not only gender but also your age. Technologically advanced systems can even identify who is speaking by a few words alone.
A person’s voice may be unique to that person, but it also changes over time as he or she grows older. As you age, your vocal patterns change from childhood through adulthood and old age. That’s why the ability of a computer to recognize an individual user from a voice pattern is so fascinating.
Benefits of Voice Recognition Technology
Voice recognition has been incorporated into various technologies such as software applications, home entertainment devices, and advanced communication systems-to make them easier to use.
This has led to faster information processing and increased productivity all over the world.
One way voice recognition can increase productivity is when you use it to type. Instead of typing on a keyboard, you simply speak what you want to type, and the device converts the speech into text.
This is helpful in situations where you want to type fast or when your hands are busy doing something else.
Some devices with voice recognition technology allow users to command them through speech instead of having to control them manually.
For example, you can use voice commands to control your home entertainment system. For instance, you could say “play” to play a specific song or album on-demand instead of having to look for the album or song and then press play.
You could also use voice commands to control your home’s temperature settings, lighting, audio/video equipment, security systems, etc.
Voice recognition technology has been used in advanced communication systems that allow people to send and receive texts, emails, and other content by simply speaking into their smartphones or tablets.
This is another way it can enhance productivity by allowing users to type faster by not having to type at all.
Accessibility for People With Disabilities
Some people with disabilities (e.g., those who are physically impaired) find it challenging to use traditional input devices (keyboard, mouse).
Devices with voice recognition technology can help them communicate more efficiently by allowing them to run applications and control devices through spoken commands.
For example, people with the visually impaired can access information on the Internet or send emails simply by speaking into Google Assistant or Siri on their devices.
Voice recognition technology can also be helpful while you’re driving. For instance, you can use it to make calls, change the music, or get directions without having to take your hands off the wheel.
This is especially helpful if you’re driving in an unfamiliar area.
Drawbacks of Voice Recognition Technology
Some voice recognition technology records your voice and stores it in a server so the machine can learn your speech patterns or understand you better.
This raises concerns about online privacy, especially when it comes to using voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple Siri.
The biggest threat of using devices that have built-in microphones is hackers and identity thieves stealing your personal information.
An attacker could gain access to the device’s microphone and record your voice without you knowing.
Voice recognition technology works best in a controlled environment with minimal background noise.
In noisy or unfamiliar surroundings, though, the accuracy of voice commands may decrease significantly, so you might have to repeat yourself several times before being able to complete your task.
While improvements in technology have eliminated these problems, they still remain a serious concern for users and manufacturers of voice recognition devices alike.
Some Technologies That Voice Recognition Is Already Being Used For
Virtual assistants are programs that perform tasks based on voice commands. These are especially helpful for people with disabilities or who have difficulty typing.
They are also convenient because you can use them from anywhere, at any time of the day or night.
You might use your phone’s translator app to read a menu in another language, but what about having a conversation?
This technology allows people speaking different languages to communicate with one another.
Many companies use voice recognition to improve their marketing strategy by allowing them to collect audio samples and analyze the customers’ responses.
They can then use this information for targeted advertising at a more personal level.
Calls to Customer Service Centers
Many companies have implemented voice recognition technology in their call centers. In one example, a bank’s customers never actually speak with an operator, a voice recognition system handles every incoming call.
Customers say their account numbers into the phone, and information is returned or transferred from one department to another automatically once their accounts are verified.
Other companies, such as Ford Motor Company, have installed voice recognition systems in their vehicles to help drivers perform tasks.
For example, Ford’s SYNC system allows you to use your voice to make a call or play a song from your personal playlist.
How To Use Voice Recognition Tech in Your Everyday Life
Voice recognition technologies have been around for a while now, but they are still relatively new.
However, voice assistants such as Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa can be used to do many useful things.
You can use them to control your music, search for information, or send messages without having to use your hands. It is particularly convenient since you do not need to touch the screen when using your smartphone.
You can also use them to find recipes or look up basic information such as current weather conditions without having to type anything in.
These virtual assistants will perform the tasks and read out the responses for you. You can even ask them to answer specific questions.
The voice control technology is being used for many different purposes, from ordinary tasks such as adjusting the temperature or playing music, to more complex ones such as looking up information or getting driving directions.
There are also wireless headphones that allow you to skip tracks, turn up the volume, or stop the music without pressing any buttons.
The Future of Voice Recognition Technology in Our Everyday Lives
Although we have only scratched the surface of what is possible with voice recognition technology, there is no doubt that it will continue to grow and improve in the future.
The most obvious immediate use for it is improving our everyday lives: setting reminders and alarms, sending messages and emails, and playing music or videos without having to touch a button.
Voice control is quickly becoming an essential part of our everyday lives, whether at work or home.
If you’re looking for a new way to interact with your device, voice control is the next step. It’s convenient because it doesn’t require typing and can be done hands-free.