On Friday, alphaworks released the Embedded ViaVoice Multi-Application SDK project. This is an SDK for creating applications involving speech recognition (ASR) and text-to-speech (TTS).
There is a subtle shift in this offering and that is that the sound devices are no longer required to be dominated by the speech software. This release's main feature is its ability to share resources between applications.
TTS software has been around for some time now, most free implementations are based on the Festival project.
ASR software is less common, but there is Sphinx-4.
This release from alphaworks is aimed straight at the mobile platform market. You can imagine dictating text messages at the same time as making voice dial calls for example, or having a transcription of all your conversations for that day.
But being aimed at the mobile market will highlight the CPU and memory/storage cost of these applications. This is why IBM have come up with a client server model for these services so that the CPU intensive activity can be centralised, how effective for applications this will be remains to be seen.