For Vendors Only

...wherein we give our projections of how speech product vendors can increase profitability...


Beating the Competition

AS A VENDOR you probably think the other vendors are competing with you in terms of "accuracy" of recognition in the desktop market. They probably are.

But because all vendors have been focusing on accuracy in order to get magazine reviewers to rave, they have short changed an area where all current products are really miserable and that is usability. In our review of the major desktop products for the November 1999 issue of Software Development Magazine, we found an average of 75 to 100 usability buglets in each product. These bugs have always existed - most of them back as far as the first shipping versions. Other reviewers seem to be oblivious to these. So perhaps they have been unimportant after all. And obviously, these bugs have not been serious enough to affect sales.

Or have they? At a February 1999 meeting of Intel VARs in New York City, Intel proudly told of how the new Pentium III would help support speech technology. Approximately a third of the audience shook their heads negatively and indicated that they had abandoned speech technology altogether. Why do you suppose they had that reaction?

We believe that the novelty of talking to your computer has worn off and that this novelty has accounted for sales to date. Future sales will come from products whose ease of use is superior.

We use these criteria to evaluate speech products.

Your current desktop product failed these tests.

Contact us if you are seriously interested in a formal review of any of your products that are currently under development.
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Winning the Linux market

WANT TO SELL 300,000 UNITS of your speech technology? Here's how. Port to the Linux platform (but in a special way). Why will that work? Because of the type of person that predominates in that market. They are early adopter nerds who work fast, think fast and, most importantly, communicate with each other fast. So if you sell one of these techies, you've sold 10.

But there is a packaging trick you must learn to get these bit diddlers' attention. You won't so easily sell your dictation products, SDK's and text readers in their current form. Write us to find out what should be in that package to make it irresistible to this market.
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Reaching the corporate in-house market
PROGRAMMERS ARE NOT TRAINED with great emphasis on traditional language skills. Oh yes, they learn C++ and ADA and such. But we don't mean programming languages. We mean speaking languages.

In fact, in modern curriculums, computer science majors are often given the choice between something like, say, Creative Writing 101 and Compiler Writing 101. Keen students of computers that they are, they choose the compiler writing course. So they wind up shortchanged in literal language skills.

Putting programmers with this kind of learning deficiency in charge of dialogue design for a voice control interactive system is a recipe for disaster. The same holds true for even simple voice macro design. The programmers will not have "an ear" for what makes easy dialogues between humans and computers. The results will be unsatisfactory systems irrespective of the flash of voice control. And that will lead to dismissal of the technology by management. Translation: reduced sales for you the vendor.

A speech products vendor wishing to grow this market, therefore needs to purposefully engage developers, and use that engagement as vehicle for training programmers' "ears," training the capacity to understand what is a smooth audio flow of control back and forth between computer and human. Lernout & Hauspie, before their demise, made a start with their Flanders Language Valley. What are you doing?

For our ideas on what should be in such training write to us.
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Page Last Updated: 04/25/02