Photokina 2014 highlights

Voice recognition

LG has added Natural Language Recognition software to its Magic Remote

At first glance, it may seem that the guy sat in front of the television is having a heated argument with his TV remote, but closer inspection will probably reveal that he's just trying to get the voice recognition feature to recognize his dialect. Folks similarly afflicted are about to be offered a helping hand from LG, in the shape of its newly updated Magic Remote with enhanced language recognition capabilities.  Read More

The always on, voice activated, connected Ubiquitous Computer – or Ubi for short – is now ...

Following a very successful funding campaign on Kickstarter, the Ubiquitous Computer – or Ubi for short – has just entered the pre-order stage ahead of expected shipping early next year.  Read More

The Motorola HC1 is aimed at industrial and military users

Motorola Solutions has released its own head-mounted wearable computer based on Kopin Corporation’s Golden-i headset. Aimed at industrial and military users who need to keep their hands free on the job while viewing documents and schematics or getting help from far afield specialists, the Motorola HC1 Headset Computer places an 800 x 600 (SVGA) full color TFT micro-display at a viewing distance that provides a virtual image size of 15 inches. In keeping with the hands-free theme, the headset can be controlled via voice recognition and gesture controls.  Read More

Intel's close-range tracking in operation

As computers become more sophisticated, they sometimes seem almost human – especially when they refuse to download a page when you’re in a hurry. At the Intel Developer’s Forum in San Francisco, Intel revealed that it is taking that a step further by giving their new line of Ultrabooks “human-like senses to perceive the user's intentions” thanks to a new generation of processors.  Read More

The ubiquitous computer (or Ubi for short) is an always-on, voice-activated, Wi-Fi-connect...

From HAL 9000 in Arthur C Clarke's Space Odyssey science fiction saga to Eddie and Deep Thought from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, or even Dr. Theopolis from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, voice interaction with computers was very much the stuff of science fiction when I was growing up. These days, of course, I can use my voice to tell an iPod touch to change music or get convincingly beaten in a TV game show by IBM's Watson but when shopping for a new computer, available options still depend on physical touch for input and visuals for output. The folks behind the ubiquitous computer (or Ubi for short) are hoping to change that by launching an affordable, unobtrusive and useful little box that's always ready and waiting to tell you what you need to know.  Read More

Google claims Jellybean is the fastest and smoothest version of Android yet

Google has revealed the latest version of its Android OS - known as Jellybean, the newest version of Android focuses on improving system performance, as well as adding a few highly requested features to the platform. Announced alongside the Nexus 7 tablet, Jellybean is set to power the next wave of Android smartphones, and will make its way to older handsets starting this July.  Read More

Dragon Drive! will provide hands-free control of various in car features

Nuance Communications, the company responsible for the Dragon line of speech recognition software, has announced a new natural-language voice platform designed specifically for in car use. Targeted at automotive manufacturers and suppliers, the Dragon Drive! platform will allow hands-free and eyes-free dictation of text messages and emails, and voice control of car entertainment and navigation systems.  Read More

Voicelok Voice Authenticating USB Drive claims to provide the world’s first voicecode secu...

Fingerprint recognition has long been used to protect sensitive data on USB drives - here’s another approach. This 8GB USB storage device uses voice recognition software to detect a password spoken by the user.  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

Norwegian researchers have devised a new way of creating a child-like synthetic voice for ...

You may think that Stephen Hawking’s synthesized voice sounds a little ... unusual, but imagine how much weirder it would be to witness a child using that same adult voice to communicate. For many children who are unable to speak, however, they have no choice but to use assistive devices that utilize just such a voice. Now, help may be on the way. Norwegian researchers have developed a new method of creating synthetic speech, that actually sounds like it is being spoken by a child. Such technology could also allow computers to better recognize words spoken to them by young users.  Read More

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