The First Voice Recognition Application for Bluetooth Devices September 18th, 2007
I’ve been using my voice recognition Bluetooth headset. It’s nothing short of amazing. Sensory started porting its speech technology over to the CSR BC-5 bluetooth chip around 10 months ago, and today we’re formally announcing this industry first.
CSR is the leader in the Bluetooth chip space, and there have been close to 100 million CSR chips sold in 2007 into Bluetooth headsets. Implementing speech on the chip has not been easy as the platform is quite resource constrained, but that made it a perfect fit for Sensory’s expertise. We are the first company to run a speech recognizer on a Bluetooth platform, but I expect a lot of other companies will quickly follow in our footsteps. Sensory has developed not just the recognition technology, but a sample application too. It can do things like place calls, check battery level, enable pair mode, check connection status, and lots more. A voice prompt verbally confirms things back to the user, so it’s really easy. Watch this video to see how it works.
I don’t know how people have gotten by without this! The current generation of headsets use beeps and flashing lights to provide feedback, and input instructions are given by holding buttons down varying lengths of time; how clumsy and difficult! This is the perfect place for speech I/O since there’s no room for more buttons or a display AND it’s got a mic and speaker built in already.
Here’s some of my interesting usage experiences as a consumer:
1) While testing out the ‘call home’ feature, my son didn’t get to the phone in time, so he called me back, and I happened to have my Sensory VR headset on when he called. A voice asked me “incoming call from 650 xxx-xxxx would you like to accept?” I said “yes”, and suddenly, quite magically I was connected to my eleven year-old son Max. I couldn’t stop raving to him how cool it was, and that he had made the first real call received by a VR headset. I had never tried that feature before! He said “Sensory’s voice recognition headset technology sounds really cool! I can’t wait for you to get me a cell phone so I can have a headset like that.” Nice try, Max.
2) I dropped the kids off at school the other day. Max’s backpack (with his homework) didn’t make it into the car. As I was driving through the campus I was able to call my wife and ask her to bring it over to the school. Without my voice dialing Bluetooth headset (eyes-free and phone-free usage), I wouldn’t have dared to reach over for the phone while I was driving around little kids; the call would have been delayed until I was off the campus. Safety is such a wonderful benefit!
3) I hooked up Goog411 into my voice dialing headset (if you haven’t tried it, try calling 1-800-goog-411). All I need to do is say “call Goog411″ and it puts me into the Google Voice Server, from where I can quickly call any business by voice. As I was heading home from work I decided to look for an 18′ kid’s bike tube. Rather than just stopping by Toy’s “R” Us, I used Goog411 to call in to see if they had them in stock. They didn’t. I then tried Orchard Supply Hardware. They didn’t, so I then called Target (they did). I never could have placed all these calls in time before. NOTE - It kind of seems silly that to use Goog411 you need to pick up a phone and hit 10 digits, and only then get to control things by voice. With a VR Bluetooth headset it so easy, and all voice controlled.
I really love this product.