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Media - Voice Recognition

From: Graham Oliver <graham_oliver@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2001 22:52:31 +0100 (BST)
Message-ID: <20011016215231.64516.qmail@web10006.mail.yahoo.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Article reproduced in this email due to accessibility
concerns of on-line version.

From Wired News, available online at:
http://www.wired.com/news/print/0,1294,47545,00.html

Speaking of Voice Recognition  
By Elisa Batista  

2:00 a.m. Oct. 16, 2001 PDT 

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California -- If companies like
Microsoft, Intel and
Cisco have their way, future cellular phones, PDAs and
television sets 
won't come with any buttons.  

Instead, people will navigate using their own voices
--twangs,
impediments, accents and all.  

"Speech will become the primary interface, especially
in mobile
computing," said Intel VP Howard Bubb, at the
Microsoft campus in 
Mountain View. "The (computer's) processors are
becoming tailored to human 
interaction."  

Intel (INTC), Microsoft (MSFT), Cisco (CSCO), Comverse
(CMVT), Philips
(PHGZF) and SpeechWorks (SPWX) are working together to
develop 
speech-enabled software that will let users call up
any website on any device 
without having to click a button.   

The companies -- calling themselves the Speech
Application Language
Tags (SALT) Forum -- say their initiative is the first
to incorporate 
graphics and video with voice recognition software.  

Many companies use voice XML (extensible markup
language) or
proprietary software to let telephone callers navigate
menu options 
with their voices. However, the SALT team plans to use
HTML -- the 
meta-data language of the Web today -- to voice-enable
the Web.  

"Imagine being able to say 'look for an apartment near
Microsoft,'
'send flowers to my mom,' or, if an urgent call comes
in, 'page me,'" 
said Microsoft VP Kai-Fu Lee. "This is about
speech-enabling the Web and 
taking speech (recognition) into the mainstream."  

While there are kinks to smooth out in the prototype
-- in a couple of
demos the companies had to repeat a command two or
three times before 
the devices responded -- analysts agree that it's
going to be a 
speech-driven world.  

"Absolutely," said Daniel Miller, an analyst with the
Kelsey Group.
"When we get down to it, with voice-activated dialing
becoming a 
precursor, you will see users using keypads less and
less."  

Miller expects phones without keypads to hit the
market as early as
next year.  

Frank Caris, president of Philips' speech processing
unit, showed off
such a phone on a slide projector. Basically, it was a
Palm-sized flat 
screen.  

Voice recognition software will become a hit among
electronics
manufacturers when it is perfected to avoid the need
to repeat 
commands, Miller said.  

It will further the adoption of the mobile Internet
because people
won't have to type letters on the cumbersome numbers
keypad of a 
cellular phone, said Eric Liu, a venture capitalist
from Investor AP.  

"With 3G (third-generation cellular technology) this
is a necessary
technology," he said.   

=====
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Received on Tuesday, 16 October 2001 17:52:46 GMT

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