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DesktopWeb FormText   vista speech recognitionWed, 15 Nov 2006 05:52:26 GMT # 

flashback to /pdc05 : i'm sitting at a presentation about speech technologies, and they are demoing Vista speech recognition. it was freakin bad ass ... and i was sitting there thinking 'why wasn't this shown in a keynote?'

so this weekend i spent a little time playing around with vista's speech reco with RC2. and it blew me away again. the best part is how its baked into the shell. this allows for speech controlling apps that were never intended to be controlled with speech. like my craptastic website. we're taking frames, iframes, javascript tree ... total crap. yet i was able to browse it hands free. open up some dev win forms ... and they were handled too. open up MS outlook and send an email without touching a keyboard or mouse. the 'mouse grid' and 'show numbers' features ... very sexy. for UI, the 'microphone bar' provides very helpful visual cues. i love it when it tells you what you could have said instead of using manual voice clicks or show numbers. not to mention an improvement in recognition accuracy. command and control is excellent. dictation is definitely better, but still has some way to go. but the correction commands and alternates panel for fixing dictation mistakes picks up the slack. finally, i played around with the screen reader some, and the MS Anna voice sounds great too.

now the hardware needs to catch up. notebooks really need to start getting mic arrays, and all tablets/UMPCs should have them. headsets need to lose the analog connections in favor of USB. and none of this analog connections to USB adapter nonsense. i'm still waiting on a remote control with a built-in mic too. finally, i need to check if the newer bluetooth devices are good enough to support speech reco.