The speech to speech translation market is expected to record a CAGR of 9.4% over the forecast period (2020-2025). The speech to speech (S2S) translation breaks down communication barriers among people who typically do not speak a common language. The basic purpose of using such technology at its inception stages was to enable an instant oral cross-lingual communication.

  • With globalization and frequent international travel, language difference has been acting as a serious barrier. With S2S, the expectations are to break such barriers to foster international business, international tourism, and equalize communication ability. As of 2020, Chinese (Mandarin) is gaining high popularity and demand around the world. Ethnologue further estimates that the number of native speakers is 1.2 billion, and a billion among them speak Mandarin. This suggests that Chinese (Mandarin) is the most spoken language globally and the second-most preferred language for online applications, after English.
  • The recent technological advances and innovations to increase computational power while building smaller and smaller devices with higher performance have led to a strong demand for information retrieving and communication-enabled technologies in the market. Further, as machine translation investments rise, the resultant is a more accurate translation.
  • Since the growth of the tourism industry is fueling the demand for speech to speech translation solutions, vendors, such as Raytheon, Lingmo, and LogBar Inc., in the market are actively positioning their products on similar lines. For instance, Raytheon BBN Technologies’ TransTalk serves a portable, two-way translation device facilitating the exchange of information across language barriers. The speech is capable of automatic translation, and it is spoken back in the foreign language.

Key Market Trends

Software Segment to Witness Significantly High Growth Rate

  • Mobile and web applications that are capable of taking voice inputs in one language and generate voice outputs in another language are considered as a part of the study. The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is using its software application in tourism, medical exchanges, and broadcast news. Speech logger is using its application in the communication markets, majorly in call centers. All these use cases are driving the software segment, with innovation in the speech to speech translation market.
  • Amazon is one of the key players offering speech to speech translation services, apart from Google and Microsoft. The company offers its services with its AWS Lambda function that connects with three AI language services, namely, Amazon Transcribe, Amazon Translate, and Amazon Polly. Moreover, Amazon Alexa provides voice translation services that can translate one way from English to another language, up to 48 languages.
  • According to a study conducted by One Hour Translation (OHT), an online translation platform, on major voice assistants capable of real-time voice translation, google assistant is one of the top-performing real-time voice translators ahead of other virtual assistants, such as Siri and Skype.

Asia-Pacific is Expected to Witness the Fastest Growth

  • After Europe, Asia-Pacific is the major attraction center for tourism, as countries, such as Thailand, Singapore, India, Malaysia, and China, attract a significant number of tourists annually. According to UNWTO, in 2018, the number of international tourist arrivals in Asia-Pacific was 347.7 million.
  • In addition, the region is one of the major markets for smartphones, in terms of volume, and with the advent of 5G, the number of devices is expected to increase even further. According to Ericsson, in 2019, the smartphone subscription rate in China alone reached 1,440 million, while that of Northeast Asia was at 1,820, and India, Nepal, and Bhutan together accounted for 670 million.
  • Apart from this, Asia-Pacific is one of the prominent markets for consumer electronics and software development, wherein various vendors are increasingly developing solutions for businesses. For instance, in August 2019, China’s Baidu developed an API for speech to speech translation.

Competitive Landscape

The market is considerably fragmented with very few major players that are competing to gain market shares in the software segment of the market. The companies are including AI and machine learning to enhance their offerings. The major companies include Microsoft Corporation, Google (Alphabet Inc.), APALON (IAC Search & Media Technologies Limited), Langogo, and Shenzhen Timekettle Technologies Ltd.

  • January 2020 - Google planned to add a real-time transcription feature to its Google Translate app for Android in the coming years. The feature is expected to allow users to record audio in one language and have it extracted in another in real-time. This feature is still in the prototype stage, but the company gave a demonstration of the technology during the Artificial Intelligence Demos at its San Francisco office.
  • July 2019 - iFlytek, a Chinese artificial intelligence company specializing in speech recognition, successfully raised USD 407 million from a state-backed industry fund and several provincial government funds via a private placement. It plans to use this amount to improve technology in open platforms for smart speech, next-generation cognitive technology, and service robots.

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