The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the rising demand for hands-free and voice-activated technologies in applications such as virtual assistants, smart home systems, and automotive interfaces, and growing importance of technologies such as deep neural networks for robust speech recognition, natural language understanding for command interpretation, and continuous improvement through machine learning algorithms, collectively driving advancements in voice recognition artificial intelligence (AI). In the last three years alone, there have been over 4.1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Artificial intelligence in technology: voice recognition AI. Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

190+ innovations will shape the technology industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 1.5 million patents, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, GenAI for design, finite element simulation, and deep reinforcement learning are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. AI in EHR, intelligent predictive maintenance, and forward inferencing are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing.

Innovation S-curve for artificial intelligence in the technology industry

Voice recognition AI is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Voice recognition AI utilizes artificial intelligence technologies to discern and comprehend human speech, involving the processing of voice signals to extract pertinent information and execute actions in response to recognized speech. These systems commonly employ machine learning algorithms, training on extensive voice datasets, enabling them to comprehend and respond to spoken commands and inquiries.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 2,200+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of voice recognition AI.

Key players in voice recognition AI – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.  

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to voice recognition AI

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) 397 Unlock Company Profile
LG Electronics 918 Unlock Company Profile
Ping An Technology Shenzhen 136 Unlock Company Profile
Spotify 113 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Global Technologies 187 Unlock Company Profile
Haier Smart Home 136 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Electronics 3053 Unlock Company Profile
Nuance Communications 538 Unlock Company Profile
Lenovo (Beijing) 112 Unlock Company Profile
Amazon Technologies 945 Unlock Company Profile
Harman International Industries 136 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu Online Network Technology (Beijing) 950 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Technologies 339 Unlock Company Profile
Soundhound 155 Unlock Company Profile
Lenovo (Singapore) 179 Unlock Company Profile
Google 3246 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Baidu Netcom Science Technology 423 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft Technology Licensing 851 Unlock Company Profile
GM Global Technology Operations 182 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Xiaomi Mobile Software 116 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic Intellectual Property Management 170 Unlock Company Profile
Rovi Guides 211 Unlock Company Profile
Walmart Apollo 135 Unlock Company Profile
Gree Electric Appliances 347 Unlock Company Profile
Midea Group 380 Unlock Company Profile
AT&T 152 Unlock Company Profile
Motorola Solutions 167 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 182 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 1481 Unlock Company Profile
Sonos 352 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 403 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 1245 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 224 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 381 Unlock Company Profile
Meta Platforms 264 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 221 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 308 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 317 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 907 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 174 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 174 Unlock Company Profile
IBM 893 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 177 Unlock Company Profile
Walmart 150 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 316 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 294 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 293 Unlock Company Profile
Chi Information Technology 139 Unlock Company Profile
Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications 175 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 181 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in voice recognition AI, Google is one of the leading patents filers. The company’s patents are aimed at disclosure pertaining to a system for processing data to trigger specific applications for execution. It involves receiving an audio input, parsing it to identify a command, and determining which functionalities of digital assistant applications, one hosted in the vehicle and another accessible via a client device, can support the command. Based on this determination, the system selects and invokes the appropriate digital assistant application. Other prominent patent filers in the space include Samsung Electronics and Microsoft.

In terms of application diversity, Walmart leads the pack, while Ford Global Technologies and AT&T stood in the second and third positions, respectively. In terms of geographical reach, Apple held the top position, followed by Walmart and Meta Platforms.

Voice recognition AI is of paramount importance as it enables seamless communication between humans and machines, revolutionizing how we interact with technology. It finds extensive applications in various industries including healthcare, automotive, customer service, and accessibility tools, fundamentally enhancing user experience and accessibility for individuals with diverse needs.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.