Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Text-to-Speech

The Key Ingredient Recipe Tablet aims to make traditional cookbooks a thing of the past

If you're a meat-and-potatoes kind of person, the idea of a dedicated kitchen tablet could seem a little excessive. But if you consider yourself a one-person culinary sensation and spend hours trawling blogs, scribbling notes and emailing yourself exotic dishes, then storing recipes on the one device might seem like the best thing since the creation of Saran wrap. Key Ingredient's Recipe Tablet is built to endure the most chaotic of cooking environments, tapping into its massive online database to put an endless array of recipes at your grease-covered fingertips.  Read More

An example of a news article displayed in the app (Image: Dr. Wee Kuok Kwee)

Researchers at the Multimedia University in Malaysia have developed an app called the Intelligent Narrator to read out news articles in real-time. Supporting multiple languages, the app can automatically identify an online newspaper's language and read out the news in the same language.  Read More

OrCam's camera device, attached to a pair of glasses by a small magnet (Photo: OrCam)

The OrCam is a small camera linked to a very powerful wearable computer. It sees what you see and through your finger-pointing understands what information you seek, relaying auditory feedback through a bone conduction earpiece. Using an intuitive user interface, the device can read text, recognize faces, identify objects and places, locate bus numbers and even monitor traffic lights.  Read More

Panasonic's 2013 Smart TV lineup, including the flagship ZT60 series, will have speech rec...

Nuance Communications has been spreading the wings of its Dragon line of speech recognition software beyond the desktop with products like the Dragon Drive! platform designed for in car use. Now it’s making its way into the living room with its Dragon TV platform giving Panasonic’s 2013 Smart TV line the ability to listen and talk.  Read More

The completed MAKI robot

Hot on the heels of InMoov, the 3D-printable android, comes a similar but much less intimidating project for DIYers by Hello Robo. MAKI is a cute communication robot that can be assembled from 3D-printed parts and some off-the-shelf electronic components for less than US$500, making it an affordable platform for hobbyists and university labs. Hello Robo has opted to launch MAKI via crowdfunding site Kickstarter, where a $30 pledge will net you the 3D blueprints.  Read More

The Jeep Wrangler Sahara reference vehicle does a vanity shot

Canada's QNX Software Systems wants to turn your car into the ultimate mobile device, complete with apps, infotainment, access to all your media and - of course - control of the car itself. To show how this concept might take shape, QNX put together a reference vehicle to demonstrate its "CAR 2" platform at the recent Telematics Detroit Conference.  Read More

New software developed by Microsoft is able to reproduce the user's speech in another lang...

For some time now, speech-recognition programs have existed that attempt to reproduce the user’s spoken words in another language. Such “speech-to-speech” apps, however, provide their translations using a very flat, synthetic voice. Now, experimental new software developed by Microsoft is able not only to translate between 26 different languages, but it plays the translated speech back in the user’s own voice – complete with the inflections they used when speaking in their own language. It looks like a real-life version of Star Trek’s universal translator could soon be here.  Read More

SuperTooth HD allows tweet and drive

Portable Bluetooth speakerphones that provide a hands-free way for drivers to stay in touch while on the road are nothing new. Nor are voice-controlled Bluetooth speakerphones with text-to-speech capabilities to read out the name of a caller. But the new SuperTooth HD adds a something new for social networking tragics on the go in the form of a SuperTooth Handsfree Assistant feature that allows drivers to compose and send Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and SMS messages, all without taking their hands off the wheel.  Read More

Proloquo2Go is an iPhone/iPad app that helps autistic children to communicate with others

iPad and iPod Touch application developers have recently created several programs which help aid the learning and development for children with autism. The success and usability of many of these programs has not only offered a new platform to help autistic children with their education, but can also offer much-needed relief to their parents. Autistic children are said to be adapting to these iPad programs like ducks to water, whilst the supervising parents can finally get some quiet time for a cup of coffee or to simply read the newspaper in peace.  Read More

LookTel sends an image captured using a smartphone camera to software on a PC which search...

Shortly available for consumer beta, LookTel is a smartphone object recognition package which is intended to help the visually impaired correctly identify such things as money, CD titles, landmarks and so on. An image captured by the phone's camera is sent to a PC which then quickly scans through a database and when a match is made, the result is returned to the phone and spoken to the user. Sighted user assist, a handy text-to-speech function and guided interface control also feature.  Read More

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