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Speech Recognition Scaled to Size

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Speech recognition struggles for acceptance. Bloomberg Bootcamp, a report on today's technology. While some of the companies that have pioneered computer speech recognition have been left in tatters... .the concept of talking to PCs instead of typing is still alive and well. Speech recognition has been built into Microsoft's Office XP for instance. For most consumers, though, using the technology seems to be more trouble than it's worth. But what about the idea of talking to handheld computers or cell phones? That's where Massachusetts based Voice Signal Technologies is focusing its efforts. CEO Dan Roth...

"We know that speech recognition today in its current implementation is good enough to enable all kinds of applications. To make people's lives easier in devices in cars, toys, in home appliances... across the board. And so what we're focused on doing is making it product ready, making it available to deploy in the small memory, in the small processors, the cost sensitive sort of environments that are necessary to make it a consumer or commercial success."

The technology can make mobile phones safer to use while driving. And it can make PDAs less frustrating to use as well...

"So that you can pick up your Palm Pilot with three thousand names in it... without training it at all... and just pick it up and say... Dan Roth, mobile phone... while you're driving... .boom, it pulls it right out."

While you're doing that... your kids can be giving voice commands to interactive toy pets. Voice Signal signed a licensing deal with Mattel last month. Bloomberg Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin.