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IVR - IVR: A Peek at New Apple iOS 5 Speech-to-Text Capabilities
August 08, 2011

IVR: A Peek at New Apple iOS 5 Speech-to-Text Capabilities

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor

While the world awaits Apple's (News - Alert) iOS 5, rumors abound about what sort of new tricks it will contain.

According to 9to5mac, iOS 5 will contain significant speech-to-text capabilities courtesy of Apple's close relationship with speech technology company Nuance (News - Alert). A screen shot of the new iOS 5 interface obtained by appears to show a small microphone icon that is new to the iPhone screen-based keyboard and located next to the space key.

To initiate the speech technology, users will simply click the microphone icon and start talking. Once the key is clicked, a new microphone overlay will appear as long as the user is talking. Once the user is finished speaking, the text will appear in the text field on the screen.

The site is also reporting that this speech-to functionality is only planned for Apple’s smaller devices: the iPhone (News - Alert) and iPod Touch, rather than Apple's iPad tablet computer, at least for the moment. This would be similar to Apple keeping features like notification center widgets and voice control as exclusives to the iPhone and iPod touch, says 9to5mac.

The features have been pretty hush-hush (though juicy details like this always have a way of leaking out). Mashable reports that Apple has been desperately trying to hide the existence of the new voice features.

In the case of the Nuance speech recognition integration, that secrecy probably also has something to do with the incomplete negotiations between Apple and Nuance, the company behind the Dragon speech recognition engine for Mac and PC that Mashable favorably reviewed last month.

In any case, if you're dying to talk to your iPhone, you may not have to wait much longer.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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