Speech recognition will change the way you drive

Voice recognition technology can be revolutionary, IBM program director says

Someday soon, you might find yourself behind the steering wheel of your car and you'll want to dial your phone, find out where the nearest Starbucks is, change the music you are listening to and adjust your heat or air conditioning. And you will be able to do all of this with nothing but the power of your own voice.

IBM and a number of its corporate partners gathered Tuesday at the company's New York City offices to discuss the current state of speech recognition technology and its future. A forum and a series of product demonstrations focused largely on technology allowing drivers to control gadgets without taking their eyes off the road or their hands off the steering wheel. While some of the products are available already, there figure to be many new technologies and improvements on existing ones in the coming years.

"Speech can be revolutionary," said Brian Garr, program director of IBM's enterprise speech solutions. Garr noted that it has been 10 years since IBM introduced its first speech recognition product.

"We can actually change the paradigm of the way people think about completing transactions, the way people think about interacting with computers or not even caring that they're interacting with computers," he said.

A product planning manager at Pioneer Electronics discussed the company's AVIC navigation system and upgrades planned for a new version to be released in late March.

In the new version, a driver can announce that he or she wants to find the nearest Starbucks and the navigation system will locate the closest one and speak the directions.

"If you want to find a Starbucks coffee or McDonald's, you can simply say 'vicinity search Starbucks coffee' and it will take you to your nearest Starbucks, said Ted Cardenas of Pioneer. "You can simply say go to JFK and that will take you to the JFK airport. It really simplifies the operation of the unit."

Improvements in technology are allowing Pioneer and other systems to understand synonyms. A driver can say "go," "search" or "destination" and the system will realize the words all mean essentially the same thing, Cardenas said.

Drivers can use the Pioneer system to control music sources as well. You might say "FM radio" or iPod to select a music source, and then ask for a certain artist or song you want to listen to.

"Using ... the voice recognition engine were able to keep the drivers eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel by avoiding the interaction both visually as well as by touch with the unit itself installed in the dash," Cardenas said.

Pioneer and several other companies present today use IBM ViaVoice, a speech recognition software product.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon Brodkin

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?