Richard V. Cox
AT&T Bell Labs, 600 Mountain Ave., Murray Hill, NJ 07974
The costs of communications bandwidth and data storage declined dramatically during the past decade while their available capacities increased equally dramatically. Both trends will continue into the future. In spite of this, the decade saw a proliferation of speech coding applications and new standards. Why isn't speech coding dead? The answer has several parts. First, digital electronic technology has finally made speech coders easy and cost effective to implement. Second, customer demand for communications any place any time relies on speech coding. In the future, one can expect more, not less, demand for speech coders used in new products and services. Third, speech coding technology improved to the point where good tradeoffs could be made among speech coder attributes, such as quality, complexity, bit rate, and delay. New products and services were acceptable to consumers on the basis of both performance and cost. However, current speech coders can still use improvement in all of their attributes. This talk reviews current application areas and focuses on areas for potential improvements to current speech coders. New applications areas and meeting their challenges will continue to make speech coding a lively research topic and a commercially valuable technology for the future.