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Christopher Wilde
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Speech Comes to Cell Phones

Why just this last weekend I was telling some friends that voice recognition would shortly be making its way to cell phones.  I've been anticipating it and a host of other improvements since the late 1990's.


"Applications that accept speech input and return Web results are the latest develop ­ ment. New versions of TellMe and OneSearch (available at launch as downloadable apps for recent GPS-enabled BlackBerry devices) let you search by holding down the green Talk button and speaking keywords into the handset. Speech-to-text technology then turns the digitized audio into text fed to searches that use the handset's location information. "

Sadly this is just a small start, I don't believe cell phones currently have the storage/processing power to handle complicated voice recognition.  However if you saw my earlier post 'This is Big' you'll know that better and faster solid state storage is on the way.


Here's what to expect in the future.  You're cell phone will be your principal device for everything.  When you get in your car, the stereo will be a set of speakers and a place to put your phone.  Your home computer will be a keyboard and screen.  Ultimately any where you go your cell phone will be compatible to a host of different devices.  It will also contain all your credit cards, personal data, medical information, etc.  This will all be encrypted and biometrically protected should you lose your phone.

Perfect voice recognition and a universal comparability design among all devices is and should be the current holy grail for all cell phone manufactures, followed by personal preference based AI.

When you by a cell phone, you should be able to download an app, pay the fee, and now it's an XM radio.  When you say, "Play XM NPR." NPR should start right up.  When you say, "cell phone what's playing?"  The AI should respond with a search across all radio stations, web based audio sources, and provide you with anything you might like to hear based on your previous choices.

This is what I've been waiting for since I dreamt of it ten years ago, this is why the IPhone is only mildly impressive.

Expect this to be the general trend for cell phones over the next twenty years until we can put them in your heads.

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