At Demo 2000, the tech products showcase being held in California this week, voice recognition firm Lernout & Hauspie demonstrated a continuous speech dictation system for mobile Internet devices running on a prototype Linux PDA.
The patent-pending PDA was equipped with L&H's RealSpeak text-to-speech technology engine. The company demonstrated the device issuing natural language commands such as 'next message' and sending email using voice only.
"Most handheld users find that manual information input and output is awkward because of the small size," stated Gaston Bastiaens, president of L&H, "The most intuitive, logical solution is a speech-enabled interface."
As the data handling capabilities of next generation mobile Internet devices increases, voice recognition technology is seen as one of the enabling technologies for PDA devices. "Although this won't be a necessity, it will be a definite 'nice to have'," says Alison McKenzie, research manager for European smart handhelds at IDC. McKenzie believes that devices such as smartphones are "a natural platform" for speech recognition technology.
The PDA also enables users with a wireless Internet connection to perform simple Internet searches, complete e-commerce transactions, and conduct a stock trade on E*Trade or Charles Schwab.
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