Speech Recognition on the Factory Floor

I recently took a trip to visit a car manufacturing plant to meet with a team responsible for plant technology and quality assurance. They had a very interesting perspective on how speech would help them at various points in the plant including making it faster and easer to enter defects in a hands free manor. I find the prospect of such a solution incredibly promising as it not only solves an obvious problem but also has a contained user base that can be trained both in terms of how to use the system as well as actual voice profiles to improve recognition. The biggest concern of the team was noise. I took recordings on the factory floor which peaked out around 93Db. Extremely loud. Although it needs to be researched, customized audio hardware with the proper noise cancellation technology and acoustic model training should be able to meet the harsh noise conditions found in the plant. I believe that we will start seeing speech creep into factories because of the significant benefits of hands and eyes free operation.