Skype Translator Hands-On: Close But No Babel Fish

When Skype announced its real-time translation program back in May, most of us seized on the sci-fi-ness off it all—Star Trek's universal translator, Babel fish, etc. But the technology is very real, and has been for years, just it separate pieces. Skype Translator is is the commercial culmination of those efforts,… » 12/16/14 5:45pm 12/16/14 5:45pm

This Short Film Explains Our Fascination With Talking to Computers

Using names like Siri, Cortana, and Google Now, advanced algorithms and technologies that would have baffled engineers and scientists half a century ago now rest in the palm of our hands. Talking with technology is the future of computing—mainly because that's the way we're built to communicate. » 10/19/14 9:00am 10/19/14 9:00am

A Brief History of Speech Recognition's Glorious Retrofuture

In the two decades following World War II, it seemed there was no limit to technological growth. Sure, a computer was still the size of an entire room, and no one had telephones in their pockets. But techno-utopian ideas like flying cars and jetpacks and meal pills were all being taken very seriously as the inevitable… » 7/16/13 11:11am 7/16/13 11:11am

AT&T Opens Up Watson Speech-Recognition Software API to App Developers

In a blog post today, AT&T SVP for technology and network operations John Donovan made the official announcement that the API for Watson (the company's proprietary voice-recognition software that transcribes spoken words into text) are now open to and available for app developers to access. » 7/09/12 10:40pm 7/09/12 10:40pm

Hands-Free GPS Device for the Blind Could Make You a Superhero

The Navigation aid for the Blind headset » 10/08/08 11:07pm 10/08/08 11:07pm is a GPS device, which not only works through speech recognition, but also uses obstacle detection technology that alerts the blind of any sleeping bums or other obstructions he could trip over as he is being guided to his destination. In 2003, we reported on a that led the…

AT&T Bringing (a Tiny, Frustrating Bit Of) Speech Recognition to the…

AT&T's Speech Mashups is a web-based service that will bring voice-activated search to the iPhone, as well as other Edge and 3G handsets. Instead of managing speech recognition on the actual handset, Speech Mashups sends the audio sample to the server, processes it and sends back a text transcription or command to… » 7/23/08 4:10pm 7/23/08 4:10pm

Direct Voxx Muso is Natural-Speech Voice Recognition Dongle for iPod…

There are plenty of iPod cradles that let you remote control the device, some built-in to cars, but Direct Voxx has come up with the Muso that lets you do it by voice. It's an interesting bit of kit that doesn't require training to understand you, and lets you demand particular tracks, scan through playlists, pause… » 7/16/08 4:48am 7/16/08 4:48am Phone Service Listens to Your Calls, Makes You Watch Ads

It sounds like a double-whammy of a bad idea: a free phone service that determines which ads to target to you by applying speech-recognition to all your conversations. To make things worse, the home page of insults potential customers by saying it's "a breakthrough technology that makes your phone calls… » 9/24/07 10:29am 9/24/07 10:29am

UPDATED: iPhone Speech Recognition Demo from VoiceSignal

Click to viewWe've heard of VoiceSignal speech recognition for lots of other phones, but now VoiceSignal sent us a video that allegedly shows it working for the first time on the iPhone. According to the guy in the clip, a couple of VoiceSignal engineers designed this app, but all we see it doing so far is… » 8/22/07 2:45pm 8/22/07 2:45pm

Vonage Visual Voice Mail Hands On (Verdict: Mixed Success)

VoIP telephone service provider Vonage just began offering Visual Voice Mail, a text transcription service that turns all of your voicemail messages into text that's immediately emailed to you. Using a combination of speech-to-text software and human transcribers, Vonage is charging 25 cents per transcription, which… » 7/26/07 12:44pm 7/26/07 12:44pm

SpinVox Winds Your Voicemails into Text For Easy Reading

We had a brief chat with a SpinVox co-founder today and he told us all about this speech-to-text service. SpinVox, when integrated with a cellphone or landline provider, can take your voicemail messages and automatically transcribe them into text that gets sent to your email or your phone as a text message. » 3/15/07 9:00pm 3/15/07 9:00pm