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Microsoft and Speech Recognition Technology

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 2/7/2012

Are the recent development announcements a guarantee that Microsoft will be delivering speech recognition features?

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    Identify My Voice

    For many people, voice recognition seems like an idea regulated to the table of grocery store spy fiction or top level security agencies. It has not seemed like a viable option for practical business, let alone home use. Most recently the Consumer Electronics Expo, which unveils new technology internationally for consumers and business leaders alike, was the location for a number of voice recognition developments.

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    At the panel “Wii Shall Overcome: The Triumph of Simplicity and the Lessons We can Learn from Nintendo”, Sensory Inc. CEO Todd Mozer discussed how their new line will essentially be using Bluetooth to link speech recognition with computer technologies. Sensory itself is one that has prided itself on voice based technology for personal use, ranging from standard speech recognition to music technology.

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    Consumer Electronics Expo

    There were thirteen different companies at the Consumer Electronics Expo announcing products that were using Sensory’s technology. Musical Electronic Ltd. showed off a dual iPod docking port and digital alarm clock that was voice activated, which is similar to the travel device that Innovative Technology was displaying. STEP Labs was gauging interest in their “hands free” car package, and Flaircomm was doing caller ID with voice recognition.

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    Microsoft Stepping In

    What was strangely absent was anything to do with intricate computer applications for Windows. It has become apparent that Microsoft has taken more recent steps at using voice recognition intimately with its new Windows software. Even Windows Vista itself has speech recognition built right in, but was never put into standard use because there was not a quality medium for it. Now that Sensory Inc. has jumped to the head of the pack, many people may now be waiting for speech recognition to be a part of the looming Windows 7.

    This will not be the first time that Microsoft went directly toward voice recognition technology. At the end of the last millennium, Microsoft had a high profile acquisition of voice recognition company Entropic, and only a few years ago they began announcing the use of this for handhelds. Most of this news has been without merit, which is why the more recent rumors about Microsoft should be taken with a grain of salt. Either way, the chances that we will be talking to our Windows machine in the very near future are better than ever.

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    Related News and Sources

    Microsoft's First Foray Into Voice Recognition

    CES 2009 Speech Recognition

    Vista Voice Recognition

    Exploration of Microsoft's Speech Recognition Development