You say toe–may–toe, and I say toe–mah–toe — is the same true for speech recognition and voice recognition? Not really. While many people use the terms interchangeably, there is a distinct difference between the two.
Voice recognition is defined as the recognition of a specific voice, or in other words, who is speaking. Voice recognition is commonly referred to as voice verification or biometrics.
Voice verification or biometrics takes a "voice print" of a specific human voice and stores it like a fingerprint. This can be useful in security applications, such as high–security building entrances, identity theft avoidance systems, or anywhere where the voice print can be used as a type of "password" or "account number."
Speech recognition, on the other hand, is the recognition of specific words or what is being spoken — therefore it does not matter which voice it is, as long as the system can recognize the word that is spoken. Speech recognition technology is used in a variety of applications, such as a company directory, airline reservation system, or any type of self–service customer service application.
Speech recognition software is also used as a way to interact with a personal computer, through "command and control." Controlling a computer through a microphone can be useful for dictation, for those who are visual impaired or who have carpal tunnel syndrome, or anyone that would like to interact with their computer using their voice instead of a mouse.