Microsoft’s internal Tellme team is working on implementing speech recognition software into the Redmond-based firm’s portfolio of software and hardware products. Microsoft will build the feature into its new Windows 8 operating system, its Bing search engine, Windows Phone, Kinect and Xbox, Azure and other products, ZDNET has learned. We already know Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Phone Mango release will offer voice-to-text and text-to-voice functionality, but Tellme senior director of sales and marketing Ilya Bukshteyn told ZDNET‘s Mary Jo Foley that the HTML 5 speech tag will allow Microsoft to develop Windows 8 applications that are “speech capable.” The Tellme team is capable of taking conversational speech, querying your social networks and creating appointments, too. For example, one might say “I’m meeting Zach Epstein for sushi in Philadelphia on Wednesday,” and the voice-recognition tech can pull “Zach Epstein” from LinkedIn or Facebook, setup a calendar event and search for sushi in Philadelphia using Bing. Of note, it looks like we’re still several years away from seeing devices capable of deciphering natural conversation. Read on for more information. More →
Several new features set to be introduced in Microsoft’s upcoming “Mango” update for Windows Phone were revealed this past weekend. We already knew that Mango is set to be a major update to the Windows Phone platform — perhaps the most anticipated new feature is improved multitasking support — but Microsoft had been keeping several upcoming additions under wraps. Newly revealed features include Bing Audio, which will identify songs by listening to music, a la Shazam; Bing Vision, which will provide barcode scanning along with a host of camera-assisted search functions; the addition of turn-by-turn navigation to Bing Maps; speech recognition support in the messaging app; and a new native podcast player. None of these new features have been confirmed by Microsoft at this point but considering the proven track record of the source, it looks like Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.5 update is going to be even more exciting than we thought. More →
Samsung took some time at a developer day event in South Korea to note that it will have sold 5 million Bada-powered Wave phones when 2010 comes to an end. It also projects sales of more than 10 million Wave devices in the first half of 2011 alone. Most of the attention at the event, however, was focused on the host of features Samsung said it will introduce in version 2 of its in-house mobile operating system. Among the more notable additions making their way to Bada 2.0 are third-party multitasking support, push notification support, an updated UI that will include a “smart home-screen,” enhanced security, an integrated ad network, carrier billing support, HTML5, NFC and speech recognition. Needless to say, Bada 2.0 is set to be a huge update that could put Bada on par with most modern smartphone operating systems when it launches in the first half of 2011. Hit the break for a slide containing all of the noted enhancements we can look forward to in Bada 2.0. More →
Nuance has just released an updated version of its free Dragon Dictation application for the iPhone and iPad that brings typeless social networking to the iPhone OS and iOS-using masses. In addition to the previous SMS and email support, Dragon Dictation 2.0 now allows you to post to twitter or update your status on Facebook merely by speaking to your mobile device. The latest version also pastes your dictated text directly into the device’s clipboard and can auto-save text when a phone call interrupts your oh-so-important dictation. So Dragon Dictation users, rest those fingers and start talk tweeting… we all know how difficult it is to type 140 characters. More →
Maybe it’s the cool-factor, maybe it’s the novelty, maybe it’s the crazy little “SpinVox Mobsters” pictured above or maybe it’s the sheer convenience; whatever the case may be, SpinVox is growing by leaps and bounds. Just last month the company announced the completion of a new funding round in excess of $100 million, bringing SpinVox’s current valuation to over $500 million. What’s all the fuss about? Until you take a few minutes to sample the SpinVox service for yourself, you simply just won’t get it. The backbone of SpinVox’s portfolio is speech-to-text but hey, that’s nothing new. The efficiency, accuracy and implementation are among factors that separate SpinVox from the pack. Ok ok, so what do they do?