Development of AI systems and their applications will continue to revolve around voice and image recognition technologies in 2017. According to market research firm TrendForce, the global market value of voice recognition solutions is projected to grow from US$2.61 billion in 2016 to US$15.98 billion in 2021, with the CAGR in the forecast period at 43.64%. The main source of growth momentum will come from the widespread adoption of voice-based virtual assistants in various devices.
Virtual assistant developers look to different smart products as they strive to establish the dominant voice control platform in the IoT market
“Amazon did not reveal new products at CES 2017, but its virtual assistant Alexa garnered the most attention during the event because it was featured in numerous smart products that were being demonstrated,” said Christy Lin, TrendForce. “Amazon has been bullish on the market potential of voice control platforms. Alexa’s applications have also expanded rapidly as Amazon took the technology beyond its own Echo speakers to other products and released the virtual assistant’s API and SDK to third parties. Amazon ultimately wants to make Alexa the dominant voice control platform for smart products, so that the company in turn will wield significant influence in the development of the entire IoT market.”
Compared with virtual assistants from other major technology brands including Apple, Google and Microsoft, Amazon’s Alexa is currently the frontrunner in the market. “Apple’s Siri is the earliest market entrant, but the IoT solutions that it provides mainly center on Apple products such as the iPhone. Google on the other hand has opened up its voice control platform to third-party developers and released Google Home and Google Assistant to compete against Amazon’s services. However, Google’s virtual assistants still lag behind Alexa in terms of hardware-software integration.”
“Microsoft, which developed Cortana at a much later time compared with Amazon and Google, is under pressure to catch up in the virtual assistant market,” Lin added. “Microsoft also made a significant decision to allow third-party developers to re-use the codes they have compiled for creating Alexa’s skills for building Cortana’s skills. This move could affect the competitive landscape in the future.”
NVIDIA shines in automotive electronics as the race to develop self-driving cars creates demands for advanced image recognition solutions
The growing interest in self-driving cars has spurred development in the market for image recognition solutions. Traditional car brands such as Ford, BMW, Nissan and Hyundai together with new vehicle startups such as Faraday Future used CES 2017 as a platform to demonstrate their autonomous driving technologies. The event also saw a wide range of new products from core suppliers of automotive electronics including NXP, NVIDIA, Mobileye and Delphi. Upstream hardware suppliers are eager to take advantage of the opportunities that exist in this growing application.
Lin noted that the outlook of the self-driving car market is uncertain in terms of applications and demand. As for the upstream component market, the outlook and competitive landscape is relatively clearer. NVIDIA, for example, has emerged as a leading automotive electronics company. Not only NVIDIA supplies hardware for Tesla’s electric vehicles, the chip maker also develops its own platform for autonomous vehicle technology. At this year’s CES, NVIDIA’s prototype self-driving car (wittily named “BB8”) revealed that the company has managed to leverage its strength as the leading GPU maker to establish a strong presence in the automotive application. It is expected that NVIDIA will introduce a more complete solution package later on.