2 Comments

Summary:

Ilya Bukshteyn, senior director of marketing for Microsoft’s speech business, explains how voice control is an integral part of the interfaces for both Xbox Kinect and Windows Phone 7 and how it will increasingly be a consistent experience across many of Microsoft’s products.

Still 1

With the recent releases of Xbox Kinect and Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is demonstrating how its TellMe voice technology is becoming a key component to its products and how voice overall is going to be a major battleground with rivals such as Google and Apple. I talked with Ilya Bukshteyn, senior director of marketing for Microsoft’s speech business, who explained how voice control is an integral part of the interfaces for both Kinect and Windows Phone 7 and how it will increasingly be a consistent experience across many of Microsoft’s products, including its Sync automotive service in Ford cars.

Bukshteyn said voice is an effective way to enhance user interfaces when used in conjunction with other gesture inputs like motion or touch. On Windows Phone 7 devices, users can conduct searches or open apps by voice. On Kinect, users can control the interface and media playback through a microphone that’s always on. In Sync-enabled cars, users can control media playback, make phone calls and conduct local searches.

Bukshteyn believes voice will be an important battleground for technology companies like Apple and Google. That would validate Om’s thinking behind his suggestion that Apple buy Nuance. As Om pointed out, Google has been pushing hard with its own voice technology, which began with its Goog-411 product and now works in Android devices for things like Voice Actions and Google Translate. Google last week also bought Phonetic Arts, another voice technology company. Apple has also gotten more serious with voice control actions on the iPhone and with the purchase this year of Siri, a personal assistant app that leverages voice technology.

With more processing moving to the cloud, and devices increasingly getting connected, Bukshteyn believes the pieces are falling into place to use voice across more and more devices because it’s easier to deliver a high-quality experience on connected devices with less processing capabilities. He said voice technology will evolve from simple recognition and corresponding actions to smarter conversations in which back-end services begin to anticipate what a user wants. Take a look at the video interview with Bukshteyn and demonstrations of Microsoft’s speech technology in action.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

How Speech Technologies Will Transform Mobile Use

  1. [...] In a recent interview with Microsoft’s Ilya Bukshteyn of Google’s voice business, he said a user’s interaction with a voice service, if they allow it, will eventually be coordinated on the back-end so the machines can not only improve their results by learning a user’s speech pattern, but they will also be able to essentially carry on conversations with users. Ultimately, Microsoft, Google or other providers will recognize users as they interact with their voice services from a variety of smart devices — phones, computers, cars, set-top boxes — and will start to anticipate what they want as a regular human will. [...]

    Share
  2. [...] is an important battleground and you’re seeing Google and Microsoft in particular working their investments in voice technology. I think the Nuance SDK will bring the technology further into the limelight. Another intriguing [...]

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post