History and usage of voice control
Voice Recognition
Jan. 3, 2020

History and usage of voice control

The concept of voice search is not new at all; let's follow the historical development to give further clarity and specificity on the topic.

The first electronic speech synthesizer was invented by Homer Dudley, a Bell associate, in 1937. The device is called the Voder. And the first to get involved in speech recognition using electronics is the Soviet physicist Lev Myasnikov - he worked on it in 1939 as part of his dissertation "Technical Phonetics".

In 1952, the first voice recognition of the numbers from 1 to 9 was introduced, again developed by Bell. The device is called Audrey (Automatic digit recognizer) and has worked with the phone. The operator called the number, and the device recognized it, comparing it to the available samples. In 1962, IBM introduced the Shoebox computer, which can recognize 16 phrases and 6 digits.

The first mass-produced speech recognition product was launched in 1990 - the Dragon Dictate program. IBM ViaVoice was introduced in 1994, and in 1995 Bell introduced the Val telephone system to automate dispatchers' work and call routing. In 1996, SRI implemented interactive voice response software.

In 2001, Microsoft introduced Windows and Office XP speech, which uses speech recognition in the Alternative Input module. In 2007, voice control appeared on the entire Windows operating system in Vista versions, and Microsoft also launched a mobile voice search for Live Search (later renamed Bing).

In 2002, Google launched Voice Search, which created many state-of-the-art programs and applications, including Google Now.

In 2008, Google launched the first iPhone-compatible voice search application, which in 2012 evolved into the Google Now personal assistant for Android. By 2011, the verbal and phonetic database of servers numbered about 230 billion words in different languages ​​around the world. At the same time, Google Chrome has received voice search functionality.

In the same 2011, at the launch of the iPhone 4s, the full integration of the Siri voice assistant on iOS was announced.

In April 2014, Microsoft introduced Cortana Voice Assistant. It is installed by default on computers and mobile devices running Windows 10 and on Xbox One game consoles. That same year, Amazon introduced its Alexa voice assistant and Amazon Echo smart speaker, which featured the ability to control multiple smart home devices.

In 2016, the Google I/O presentation featured Google Assistant, a smart personal assistant. It has become part of the Google Home smart column and Pixel smartphones. Now the feature runs on Android-based devices around the world.

In 2017, a Russian company introduced the voice assistant "Alice" and in 2018 - its own smart column "Yandex.Station".

At the time of publishing this article (January 2020), one question is on the agenda: how do I add voice recognition to my website? And there are several possible ways to achieve that:

  • custom programming task to talk directly with Web Speech API;
  • use some third party JavaScript scripts to facilitate the communications with the browser APIs;
  • use Voxpow for free, which will make all the work for you easy.

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