On-device voice recognition enables spoken commands without a connection to the cloud. Today, companies in the on-device space are enjoying explosive growth. Sensory, a leading player, has developed embedded technologies that have shipped with three billion products, including many from well-known consumer brands.  Yet, names like Google, Alexa, and Siri are more familiar, in part because “Hey Google”, “Alexa”, and “Hey Siri” are well-known wake words that activate devices so that users can issue voice commands like “play music” or “set an alarm”.

For brands pursuing interactive voice response, the choice between on-device and cloud-based systems requires an understanding of available technologies and their relative advantages and applications. The advent of new products for in-store shopping and the after-sale experience are also worth considering. Between 2021 and 2026, the voice recognition market is expected to achieve a compound annual growth rate of 16.8%. By 2026, this market could be worth over $27 billion (USD). For brands that leverage the power of Voice, the future looks brighter than ever.

Voice Recognition Comparisons and Wake Words vs. Commands

At a minimum, on-device voice recognition embeds wake words into the device itself. These words or phrases can then launch connections to the cloud so that users can perform voice-enabled functions that retrieve information. On-device voice is always listening, but you don’t need an Internet connection to turn on voice control. This reduces power consumption, addresses privacy concerns, and eliminates the need to pair devices. There are also on-device platforms where not only wake words, but even commands, and information are all embedded into the device itself. With these systems, no Internet connection is ever required.

By contrast, technologies like Alexa voice recognition require a continuous connection to the Internet. Without a connection to the cloud, neither wake words nor commands will work. Because they’re always on, cloud-based platforms like Apple voice control and Google voice control use more power. They may also raise privacy concerns. Consumers may struggle to pair devices and wonder how to turn-off voice control. Finally, some speech recognition technologies favor their own branded wake words over user-defined triggers (UDT) – wake words that consumer would prefer to use.

On-Device Voice Recognition: Advantages and Applications

Sensory provides the stand-alone voice recognition that is used in LG and Samsung televisions, Poly Bluetooth headsets, Garmin dash cameras and personal navigation devices (PNDs), GoPro voice-controlled cameras, and many remote controls and appliances. Canon’s new cameras use Sensory technology, as does Honda’s new line of electric vehicles. Sensory also supports the “Hey Spotify” wake word for Spotify and “Okay Waze” for Google Waze. Even Microsoft’s Surface headphones and NEC’s all-in-one PC use Sensory. Yet, some brands are using other embedded voice technologies.

The market for stand-alone speech recognition is large, and not all applications require complexity. For example, Voice Express Connect™ supports interactive print media such as talking brochures. Users who receive your direct mail don’t have to pair it with a device. This increases the likelihood that recipients will listen to your brand’s unsolicited message. Voice Express technology is also used with in-store displays and to promote customer engagement after the sale. Imagine a consumer approaching a display, saying a wake word, and receiving the answer to a product question. After the sale, voice-activated packaging can answer questions.

Interactive Voice Response for Your Application

There are many approaches to speech recognition, but Voice Express offers low-cost, low-maintenance solutions that don’t require pairing, app downloads, or cumbersome QR code scanning. Instead, we enable brands and consumers to communicate in a direct, unmediated fashion through self-playing media. Visit our website to learn more about our voice-enabled technologies and how we help brands like Build-A-Bear Workshop, Sony Music, Johnson & Johnson, as well as many others. We also invite you to read these recent articles about the power of voice.