“Good morning, Michael.”
While that sort of greeting from a computer used to be reserved for the hero of the television series Knight Rider, it soon could be commonplace for gamers across the world.
The next release of Microsoft’s (News - Alert) popular games console, Xbox, is rumored to include significant speech recognition technology and sensors that let the console know who is in the room.
The forthcoming Durango release of Xbox will support wake on voice, natural language controls and speech-to-text (STT), according to games industry watcher, The Verge. The new functionality will allow gamers to walk into their living room and simply tell their Xbox to wake up.
Wake on voice is not the only natural language processing that should appear in the next Xbox release, however. It will also boast a Siri-like natural language processing and query engine that will allow users to verbally ask the games console questions much like Apple’s (News - Alert) iOS voice service. Gamers will be able to ask, for example, what their friends are currently playing and receive an accurate reply from the Xbox.
Users will be able to automatically resume video content where they left off simply by asking the console to play a particular movie, and some believe that Skype (News - Alert) will also be built into the new console. Microsoft is also looking into the possibility of using a sensor that will detect who is in a room and suggest appropriate multiplayer games, the report noted.
The Xbox currently lacks natural interaction and context.
Voice control is a major trend that has emerged since Apple introduced its Siri voice query service in 2011, and 2013 promises to be the year that consumers find voice control everywhere they look.
“From phones, tablets and TVs to cars and, yes, kitchen appliances, voice-controlled computing is weaving its way into our lives,” noted John Paul Titlow in a recent piece for ReadWrite. “Only 15 months after Siri's arrival, voice-controlled computing is barreling ahead into the future.”
The Consumer Electronics Show that took place in January was loaded with voice-controlled gadgets and new uses for voice. Overall, the global voice recognition market is predicted to grow by more than 22 percent annually through 2016, according to TechNavio.
Like many Apple-inspired trends, voice control both has become the hot new feature and is being driven by advances in technology.
The accuracy of voice recognition, as well as smarter natural language processing, has eliminated the need for training the software to recognize a user’s voice. Mobile ubiquity and machine-to-machine trends have meant that there are more devices that can accept speech commands, and more importantly, do something incredible with it, and the advent of cloud computer has offloaded the processing power needed for good speech recognition.
“The improved accuracy of voice recognition and smarter natural language understanding will combine with our devices' increased awareness and ability to better discriminate between sounds to create a far more capable, intelligent system for communicating with machines,” Vlad Sejnoha, chief technology officer at Nuance (News - Alert), also recently noted.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo