In advance of yesterday's Let's Talk iPhone Apple event, the rumor mill was in full swing, but among the few predictions to actually come true was voice recognition in the new iPhone, now known as the iPhone 4S.
Last year, Apple acquired voice-recognition application startup Siri and added some voice-to-text features to iOS 4. The feature will be beefed up with the iPhone 4S to understand context and allow you to speak naturally when asking questions.
"Siri on iPhone 4S lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more," Apple said. "Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back. Siri is so easy to use and does so much, you'll keep finding more and more ways to use it."
Aibelive’s portable AITALK can control your iPod with only voice commands. Search for albums, singles and artists and your player will begin immediately after your final selection. With Speaker Independent technology, there is no training required, it supports several languages and music preview when in search mode, and claims up to 90% accuracy. The gadget can also aid those who are driving and the disabled. When released, the AITALK should retail for about $85.00.
IA Technologies is working to release their Zumba phone, supposedly the world’s first fully accurate voice recognition celllie. Attach an earpiece to the back of the handset and you can operate it mostly with your voice, although you need to push a button to get text messages read to you. Detach the keypad and screen and you can wear it over your ear. Promised to be low-cost, you say your contact’s name and Zumba connects you via a secure site. This phone has been in development for about 3 years and you can sign up to keep track of the progress made. We are not sure if this will come to pass in the near future, but we do know the company is looking for investors.
Read More | Zumba Lumba
No more fighting for the remote if Oki Japan and a team from Waseda University have their way. They place 4 microphones in the front of a remote, then utilize an algorithm for voice frequency analysis. This separates the main voice from other ambient noise sources. We are assuming that if you are the one who carries the loudest voice, then you will be the one to rule the remote. We will be curious once the device goes pass the prototype stage and becomes channel surfing survival of the fastest, or loudest.
Read More | Digital World Tokyo
Stargazers will soon have a new device to help them out. StellarWindow works with a USB dongle and has built-in tilt 3-axis accelerator sensor and electric compass. After installation, the dongle finds your location and will point out what you can see. The software has voice recognition if you are looking for a particular planet, constellation, or other astral body. Built by Japanese students who formed Fairy Devices, they are hoping to release StellarWindow this year for ¥26,250 (~$244.00.)
Read More | Fairy Devices (translated)
Never get lost jogging again. The French company Kapsys has unveiled their Kapten mini portable GPS device without a screen. Designed for pedestrians rather than vehicles, its interface works with voice recognition or text-to-speech. At a size of only 74 x 44 x 13mm and a weight of 50g, it has TeleAtlas from France but other cities are downloadable. The Kapten has a SiRF Star III receiver and can hold up to 4GB memory. It also can do Bluetooth and is an MP3 player and FM tuner. Look for a mid-September launch for £150 (~$300.00.)
Read More | Navigadget
We learned all about Microsoft Sync at CES, and have lots to share. Sync is integrated software that’s factory-installed in certain Ford, Lincoln and Mercury cars. It allows you to control your cell phone and music player via voice recognition. Once your cell phone is “synced” with the software and your contacts are transferred, just press the button on the steering wheel and speak your command, such as “Call Mom.” Mom is immediately dialed, and you can talk to her without ever touching your phone. What’s also cool is that you can control your entire music library via voice as well, just by saying the name of the artist, song, album or even playlist. Just sync up your iPod (except the Shuffle), iPhone, MP3 player or even a thumb drive, and you’re good to go.