Friday, March 22, 2013
Next Windows Phone Update Could Get Big Improvements To Speech Input
Microsoft is definitely ending support for Windows Phone 8 next year, but we’ve heard precious little about its successor. There are hints from job postings, but now a new leaked video (via The Verge) shows something more concrete about changes that might be on the way. It shows pretty dramatic improvements to the built-in speech recognition features in the Windows Phone Bing search app, which look to rival even those in Google’s Android voice efforts. The demo from Microsoft’s TechFest early in March shows a Microsoft Research prototype of an improved Bing for Windows Phone, with?enhancements?that?seriously?improve voice recognition even when background noise threatens to drown out the speaker. It also demonstrates a live mode that displays terms while a person is still talking as they speak, instead of transcribing the entire passage once a user finishes their sentence, as is the case with Microsoft’s current speech recognition and that of competitors. The tech looks very promising, and could open up additional options for Windows Phone developers if it is introduced in a next-generation Windows Phone release. In particular the instant transcription is a feature that would be right at home in note-taking apps like Google Keep for instance. Microsoft improving core tech on Windows Phone is yet another sign that while the platform may be more of a slow burn than a forest fire, the company isn’t about to let it be extinguished altogether.