The Kelsey Group, claiming to be an authority on speech-based technologies and opportunities, is releasing this week its annual "Voice Ecosystem Review and Forecast," in which the firm estimates worldwide revenues from core speech technologies -- automated speech recognition (ASR), text-to-speech (TTS), natural language understanding (NLU), embedded speech and attendant infrastructure hardware and software -- will grow from $505 million in 2001 to more than $2 billion in 2006. The firm predicts this growth in core speech technologies will trigger a multiplier effect, driving voice-activated and enhanced telephony services revenues to $27 billion by 2006.

"Early deployments involved 'touch-tone replacement' for information services and high-volume contact centers," explained Daniel N. Miller, senior vice president of Voice & Wireless Commerce at The Kelsey Group. "New phenomena, like embedding automated speech in handsets, PDAs and cars, will account for significant growth in the coming years. More accurate recognizers, human-sounding text-to-speech, 'open' development tools and 'adaptive' technologies make it possible for the carrier, enterprise and developer communities to introduce new applications quickly and more confidently."

According to the report, after a lackluster 2001, procurement from both enterprise and service provider customers is on the rise. The market outlook will focus attention on speech technologies just as the industry prepares to gather at The Kelsey Group's fourth-annual Voice & Wireless Commerce Conference (VOX2002), July 22-24 in San Francisco. The VOX2002 agenda will emphasize market-based solutions that deliver solid ROI, according to the company.

For this year's report, The Kelsey Group says it reconfigured its Voice Ecosystem model to support more granular analysis of discrete software, hardware and firmware components. About The Kelsey Group

The Kelsey Group is a provider of research, analysis and events focused on wireless, Internet and Yellow Pages directories, directory assistance/enquiry and next-generation communications networks and their impact on marketing and commerce. Through its Continuous Advisory Services, consulting, research and conferences, the company claims to provide market intelligence and recommendations. For more information on the company, its services and conferences, visit