Enterprises slow to join voice-recognition surge

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Analysts say Amazon's Yap and Apple's Siri could push companies to seek voice apps for workplace

Amazon's recent purchase of Yap, a maker of voice recognition technology, and the arrival of Siri speech software inside Apple's iPhone 4S smartphone have sparked heightened consumer interest in voice commands for smartphones and tablets.

Yet, questions remain about whether or when enterprises will start widely deploying voice recognition technology on mobile devices, partly because internally developed, specialized apps would have to be built to overcome issues like background noise that could corrupt its operation.

"Voice recognition technology has been around for years, but has failed to make a real breakthrough," wrote Declan Lonergan, an analyst at Yankee Group, in a recent blog post. "Nobody has found the secret sauce to create good user experiences centered on voice-based interaction with a personal device."

A few vendors do offer enterprise voice command applications, often in partnership with major software companies, analysts said.

For example, Datria sells a voice-enabled app for use by field-based workers, Gold said.

And Hybris Software offers a commerce software platform that can combine voice activation software with apps for other communication channels, such as Web-based e-commerce and call centers.

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