Now, devices that incorporate speech recognition are starting to hit the mass market, thanks to entrepreneurs like Mr. Phillips. He is the chief technology officer and a co-founder of the Vlingo Corporation, an 18-month-old start-up in Cambridge, Mass., that is selling services to cellular carriers and other software companies that want to give their customers the ability to let their mouths do the walking — and the searching...
Microsoft is a significant potential competitor, thanks in part to its purchase of TellMe Networks last March. TellMe offers a speech-driven search application for cellphones that is available to customers of AT&T — only those who were part of Cingular before the merger — and Sprint. TellMe’s system is built-in on the new Mysto phone from Helio, a mobile phone operator started by Earthlink and SK Telecom, and is the engine for 1800call411, a free directory information service.
Over all, speech recognition was a $1.6 billion market in 2007, according to Opus Research, which predicts an annual growth rate of 14.5 percent over the next three years.
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