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SpeechTEK 2015 Recap

First of all, the big news. SpeechTEK is moving to DC! It’ll be held in May, on the week before Memorial Day weekend. This will certainly change the dynamics of the show. Hopefully for the better! I agree that August is not good for a lot of people, schedule-wise. Also the time change means that I need to get to work on next year's topics, like, now. (Sigh.)

Let’s play a quick round of Buzzword Bingo!

  • Omnichannel continues to be a hot topic, but I think the bloom is off the rose a bit from last year. People are beginning to realize that this is a difficult technical problem and are searching for easy-to-implement solutions.

  • Amy Goodwin gets a 2-for-1 (or is it 3-for-1?) with her question to the participants of my Internet of Things panel, wondering if it is possible to combine gamification and speech recognition onboarding. The answer was, “Yes, it’s a good idea, and we’re actually experimenting with it.”

  • I give myself bonus points for being the only one to drag in Service Design. Seriously, y’all, there are some good ideas and techniques to be found there. If you haven’t looked into it yet – look it up!

  • Virtual assistants. This was kind of the meme of the show. It seems as if everyone wants Jarvis from Iron Man. (Me, I’ll settle for Robert Downey, Jr. – haha.)

On the show floor and around the show, it was interesting to note the presence of a lot of new companies, some startups, many with recognizers to sell. I think the publicity from Siri has led to a lot of new interest in speech recognition, which has led to this flowering of efforts. I think it’s good to get new people, with fresh perspectives, involved in the industry. Maybe it’s just me, but this year’s show felt optimistic and interesting.

We also had a pretty good turnout for the AVIxD general meeting this year. About 30 people in the room and another 20 on Periscope, which we were trying out for the first time. Every committee has made significant progress on a project this year, which is fantastic news.

And, on a somewhat tangentially related note, “Hamilton” on Broadway is absolutely fantastic. If you’re a fan of musicals, go see it. Broadway is one thing I’ll definitely miss when the show moves to DC!

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