Microsoft plans to integrate speech recognition application as an interface in its Windows 7 smartphone. "We believe speech is not a separate application. Rather it is an integral part of the user experience," said Zig Serafin, Microsoft unified communications general manager, at the SpeechTEK 2010 conference being held in New York.
In order to augment Windows Phone 7's feature to take verbal commands and deliver the request, it plans to add its Tellme cloud-based voice recognition and natural language processing service to Windows Phone 7.
Windows in 2007 bought Tellme Networks, a private company that provided a VoiceXML-based voice-recognition platform for voice-powered directory assistance for third parties, and also had its own mobile search services. Microsoft is also attempting to leverage the technology for it search engine Bing.
Microsoft feels that the icons based Android and iPhones are an archaic thing as it just creates more cluttered phones and likens it to Windows 3.1.
Microsoft's marketing director Ilya Bukshteyn demonstrated the use of the technology at the conference. He asked the phone to call "Paul" and the handset responded with multiple names for Paul but then Bukshteyn used the full name and the phone dialed the appropriate number.
This particular technology can be further added to other features such as getting pictures, searching through Bing, etc. Basically the whole phone could be controlled through a voice-based interface.
Serafin said that the voice interface is part of the "natural user interface" (NUI). NUI is a holistic interface which uses voice, touch and other motions as data. Currently, its Kinect Xbox uses a similar technology.
One waits to see if the above technology can be a game changer. However, the above technology upgrade is reminiscent of the days when the touch-screen technology took over the traditional keyboard. iPhone's launch changed the game when it brought a phone without a keypad. This time, Microsoft wants to take the lead in revolutionizing the industry again.
But will the technology make business sense in non-English speaking countries? With multiple languages and accents in place the technology has to be really refined and versatile to make Windows Phone 7 a true global product.
International Business Times, The Global Business News Leader
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