Google to make speech recognition API available to developers

March 28, 2016 - 

Google announced its plans to enter the competitive voice recognition market by opening up its speech recognition API to third-party developers, according to a report by TechCrunch.

In an effort to draw in more developers, Google’s speech recognition app will initially be offered for free at launch and will subsequently be available for a fee in the near future.

Google has yet to unveil details of its pricing, but the company will likely provide low-cost pricing tiers that could eventually increase over time after it becomes an established player in the voice recognition market.

The announcement follows ongoing rumors of Google’s service that have been circulating for the past few weeks. Google officially announced details about the Google Cloud Speech API during its NEXT cloud user conference, along with several other machine learning developments and updates.

The service will be offered in over 80 languages, will be compatible with any application in real-time streaming or batch mode, and will include a complete set of APIs for applications to “see, hear and translate,” the company said.

Additionally, the Google Cloud Speech API is based on the same neural network technology behind Google’s voice search in the Google app and voice typing feature in Google’s Keyboard.

Other capabilities include the ability to use speech recognition in loud environments and in real-time.

By opening up its speech recognition API to developers, Google will compete against long-time voice recognition players like Nuance, which is currently leading the market.

Nuance could potentially lose several customers, such as startups, as they turn to Google’s technology for its improved voice recognition experience and lower price point.

In addition to disrupting the voice recognition market, Google’s new speech recognition API is also seen as an attack against Apple, which has yet to offer an API for developers to use virtual assistant Siri’s voice recognition capabilities in their own apps.

Google previously offered limited access to its voice technology in its products, such as the introduction of its Voice Interaction API at Google I/O last year where Android developers were able to add voice interactions to their apps. However, this marks the first time Google has offered access to the speech recognition API directly.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.