Microsoft launches the first voice-controlled software specifically designed for
Windows Mobile 2003-based Pocket PCs in Europe Microsoft Voice Command. Voice
Command transforms Pocket PCs and Pocket PC Phone Edition devices into virtual
interactive personal assistants by enabling effortless, hands-free management of
a range of functionalities such as phone, contacts, appointments and Windows
Media Player. This application is a cost-effective and convenient way for
consumers to get the most out of their connected lifestyle. Through speech
commands, which do not need to be pre-recorded, Microsoft Voice Command offers
users the following key features:
Voice-controlled hands-free phone. Whether in the car, at the airport or
walking down the street, people can enjoy true hands-free phone
conversations without ever having to manually dial a number. They can simply
say any name from their contacts list. For example, they might say "call
David Jones" or "dial 020 71234 5678" in order to use the phone capability
of their device.
Caller information announced. Pocket PC Phone Edition users can have
incoming call information announced as calls are received. If you think you
may have missed a call, you can simply ask "What calls did I miss?" and
Voice Command will recite the time and phone number of missed calls.
Voice-controlled calendar look up. Checking appointments has never been
easier. Regardless of location, consumers can simply ask their device
"What's my next appointment?" or "What's my calendar?" and the time, subject
and location of each entry will be spoken aloud.
Voice-controlled Windows Media Player. Now voice commands can be used as
a virtual remote control to select and play music by artist, album or genre.
People don't need to fumble for CDs anymore; instead they can scroll through
and play a long list of songs by voice activation on Windows Media Player
already installed on their device. Consumers can simply say "Play music"
using Voice Command as their personal disc jockey.
Voice-controlled utilities. Start any program in the Start menu or
programs folder, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, the Outlook calendar,
contacts, tasks, games or calculator. Get signal strength, battery level,
time and day by voice. To help avoid surprises, Voice Command will even
alert you when your battery is getting low.
Voice Command uses Microsoft's own phonetic speech-recognition
technology, the result of ten years of research, to make speech interaction
easy to use, intuitive and practical. Most voice-controlled software
requires people to pre-record verbal commands, where as Microsoft Voice
Command allows them to use natural, conversational commands to manage device
actions with immediate effect. The software is speaker independent, enabling
the device to recognise what the user is saying, without any prior training,
resulting in effortless, "hands free" communication. This means that the
software does not need to "learn" any specific speech traits. It recognizes
the name, appointment, music or application command and actions immediately
upon installation. This makes Microsoft Voice Command one of the most
powerful, simple and effective voice recognition applications on the market today.
Voice Command was previously released in US
English with great response from consumers on the ease of use, accuracy, and
how it transformed their overall device experience. This version,
specifically designed for the UK, can recognize over 13 national dialects
from the counties across the country including, for example, Welsh,
Glaswegian and Scottish accents so that anyone in the UK can use natural
speech to command their device.
Voice Command provides a significant improvement in speech software
that is dramatically changing the way people will forever use their
mobile devices, said Pieter Knook, senior vice president for Mobile and
Embedded Devices Division at Microsoft. "The product is a great example
of how were driving synergies between our platforms and devices business
to create more powerful mobile experiences for our customers."
Voice Command will be sold as a separate application for Windows
Mobile-based Pocket PCs at a suggested retail price of US$ 19.99 and can be
bought online at www.handango.com.