VOICE EV­ERY­WHERE

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - COVER STORY -

Voice as­sis­tance is noth­ing new, but it has never been as loud as it has been since the launch of Siri on the iphone 4S. Siri is dif­fer­ent, thanks to its abil­ity to un­der­stand ques­tions be­fore re­spond­ing and even sus­tain a con­ver­sa­tion.

With Siri gain­ing in pop­u­lar­ity, other de­vice mak­ers are likely to fol­low suit. It is ex­pected that some new ap­pli­ca­tions will be voice-trig­gered.

With the pro­lif­er­a­tion of An­droid, IOS and Win­dows Phones, voice search gained a lot of ground in 2011. “Google Voice Search for mo­bile phones is now avail­able in 27 lan­guages and di­alects, and we made 20 of these avail­able in the past year,” says Amit Sing­hal, Google Fel­low. “We es­ti­mate that about two-thirds of the world’s pop­u­la­tion, about 5 bil­lion peo­ple, are able to use Voice Search. We’ve seen a 6X growth in spo­ken in­puts in the past year, and ev­ery day, we re­ceive more than two years of non-stop speech in­put.”

But will voice be limited to search? “We’re in­te­grat­ing speech recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy into lots of other Google prod­ucts, from auto-cap­tions on Youtube, to voice search on desk­top in Chrome, to voice nav­i­ga­tion in Google Maps for Mo­bile,” says Sing­hal.the goal is to make speech recog­ni­tion avail­able wher­ever and when­ever you want it — any­time you’d want to type, you should be able to speak if that’s what you’d pre­fer. That’s a re­ally am­bi­tious goal, but it’s the long-term vi­sion that mo­ti­vates the com­pa­nies.

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