Integrating Voice And Speech Recognition Into Mobile Application
Although it took a long time to win, the voice is about to revolutionize the world of the smartphone . At the confluence of data mining, machine learning and automatic language processing, speech recognition technologies have made tremendous progress and open up great opportunities for mobile application developers.
The strengths of the voice
Far from being mere gadgets, voice assistants allow us to overcome the constraints of touch screens, and are extremely useful especially to the blind and disabled . Thanks to them, we can interact faster and smarter with our smartphones, but also with the connected objects that are multiplying around us, like the smart speakers that are now raging. Start-ups are already working on applications that will be used 100% hands-free , which will be particularly convenient in the car.
Speech recognition and speech synthesis: two technologies used for mobile applications
There are two types of voice technologies , which can be integrated separately or together in a mobile application . With voice recognition , words spoken by the user are converted into text , which allows instructions to be given to the application. It can also be used to send messages, search the web and take notes.
The speech synthesis is based on the opposite principle: we go from text to voice . It is used to communicate with the user by giving him information or reading text on demand. Amazon has successfully integrated it into its Kindle for iOS app , which “reads” books aloud with Apple’s VoiceOver tool .
Successfully integrate the voice
Ideally, a mobile application should integrate both speech synthesis and speech recognition. The task is complex, however . It must be done iteratively , starting with the features most often used by mobile users, and where the risk of error is low. Additional features will be added each time the application is updated . In some cases, it is better to do without speech synthesis: if an application contains little text to read, it is much easier to add audio clips .
Tools to give voice to mobile applications
Creating your own voice assistant requires extremely specialized skills . Two types of tools exist: tools in the cloud , light and fast, which have the disadvantage of operating only with an internet connection. Other voice assistants are directly integrated into the application, which can work offline , but is necessarily heavier. The simplest is to use the SDK from Google and Apple , which offer voice tools on cloud developers.