While the technology and demand for voice recognition products and services have soared in recent years, sound recognition has been several steps behind. However, the potential for growth is no less promising. This is one of the conclusions drawn by the latest report from SAR Insight & Consulting: Sound Detection and Recognition.
“SAR has been following the market for voice recognition technologies for many years,” Peter Cooney, principal analyst and director of SAR Insight & Consulting, says. “We have tracked the development of this market through its phenomenal growth, providing our analysis to clients. We have seen the market grow to 2.1 billion voice-enabled devices in 2018.
“The sound recognition market is nascent but has immense potential. The number of devices enabled with sound recognition is expected to grow at a CAGR of >100% from 2018 to 2023 as it becomes a common solution on a wide range of devices from smart home to Industry 4.0.”
Examples of sound recognition include a gun shot, glass breaking and a dog barking, all of which could be detected by a security device and processed as part of an emergency response solution. Other sounds, such as snoring, a baby crying or heart beats, could be used by wellness apps on smartphones.
Therefore, Peter said the markets that could benefit from sound recognition software were wide reaching. “Sound detection/recognition is a nascent market but is set to see significant growth over the next five years,” he adds. “SAR expects more than 600 million devices to ship with sound recognition in 2023, totaling over 1.3 billion devices over five years.”
Applications for Sound Detection and Recognition are varied and desirable, like security. If a smart home device can listen to our surroundings while we sleep – picking up and processing the sounds of glass breaking, car alarms, angry voices, and unexpected movements inside and outside the home – it can determine whether or not the home is under threat. Furthermore, if that ability is used in conjunction with existing technology – movement sensors, heat sensors and the like – it makes it more reliable.
Sound recognition can also be effective where the hardwired alternative is problematic. Machinery manufacturers and suppliers increasingly offer a diagnostic and maintenance service to customers, which often requires sensors and cameras linked to the supplier’s head office, so that an engineer can monitor the efficiency of those machines. While this reduces unnecessary time spent driving between locations, it also means that suppliers can predict when a key piece of machinery needs to be replaced. However, mechanical sensors have their limitations, and not all wear and tear can be monitored and predicted. Which is where sound recognition can come into its own. The sounds and vibrations a machine emits can indicate an imminent failure where visual checks can’t, thus potentially saving a company $thousands in unplanned downtime.
These are just two areas, but SAR Insight & Consulting predicts growth in other markets, such as personal wellbeing apps, automotive, healthcare, insurance, and many others. The technology supporting sound recognition is still in its early stages, which means there are not only opportunities for those companies established in the voice recognition arena, but for startups specializing in this sector, SAR points-out.
According to the company's latest piece of research – Sound Detection & Recognition – this market will see significant growth over the next five years.