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Monday, July 31, 2006

Speech Recognition in Nintendo's Brain Age Not So Smart...

spkydog came across this rather fun review of Nintendo's "Brain Age" game. The author's comments on this hit game are positive for the most part, until he gets onto the speech recognition functionality. spkydog has yet to play the game, but our current theory is that Nintendo might have licensed Vista's speech technology from Microsoft. ;-)

Just kidding on that last point of course! Microsoft's very own Richard Sprague makes a valid point in his posting regarding their recent demo debacle. To paraphase, people typically don't write about the 99 times the SR demo worked flawlessly. It is the failures that seem to be of human interest.

At the same time, unlike Vista, "Brain Age" is a shipping product on the DS. If the SR is really flakey on that platform (not surprising) it would of been better for everybody if they hadn't used the technology in this title to begin with. All it takes is a few high profile products that include less than acceptable speech technology to set up the negative stereotypes for yet another decade. If Microsoft does eventually get the speech technology right in Vista, it will be the most visible deployment of speech technology on the planet, and hopefully will do much in terms of helping the masses feel a bit less "buh-loo" about the readiness of speech technology in general.

Read the Brain Age review.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Talking iPod?

Earlier this month an article in the the Scotsman conjectures that a future version of the iPod will be equipped with a text-to-speech engine. They suggest TTS will be used to inform the user of what's playing when situationally impaired (driving, jogging, low light conditions, etc.). Evidently a recent patent filing with the USPO by Apple back in May has triggered this rumor.

Read the article.

Whoops... Microsoft's Speech Demo Bombs

Evidently Microsoft was trying to convince some financial analysts that speech recognition was ready for prime time, and managed to prove just the opposite! No big deal really, this is classic for anybody who has tried to do a speech demo (or any demo for that matter!) in front of a crowd.

Read more on CNET.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Multimodal BoF at IETF Meeting this week

A birds-of-a-feather (BoF) session is on the agenda of the 66th IETF Meeting in Montreal this week to discuss a draft charter of a working group to focus on the Distributed Multimodal Synchronization Protocol (DMSP). The protocol aims to coordinate multiple modalities in distributed multimodal systems and is described in an Internet draft submitted to the IETF by Motorola, IBM, and others.

The BoF is scheduled for Thursday, July 13 @ 1PM Eastern. If you're at the IETF meetings this week and interested in speech/multimodal you'll want to attend.

Read the DMSP BoF Agenda