A bit gadgety this post but falls squarely in the personalize space – this time the personal interface. No longer the domain of low budget 50’s sci-fi movies the era of speech control entering our domestic abodes is upon us. One Voice Technologies have introduced basic speech recognition for the Windows Media Center. It has on the site some sample commands

Sample Voice Commands: Play Artist The Beatles, Play Album Abbey Road, Play Genre Jazz, Play Hawaii Vacation Slideshow, Call Pizza Shack or Record Channel 5 at 7 PM

more importantly you can add your own personalized commands:

Now, with My Commands, you can add your own custom commands to Media Center Communicator! After adding a command you can simply speak it, as you would the preset commands, to run your favorite website, program, movie or audio file. The possibilities are limitless!

OK this is unlikely to turn the heads of those thousands of PhD HCI students but it may mean the dawning of a non-finger based interface at last. I have used NHK’s wonderful eye control system at NAB a couple of years ago – to navigate a selector across the TV simply look at the part of the screen you want, blink and the movie starts, also various motion detectors that sense body movement to control TV interfaces. Speech though has long been the domain of the PC, which of course the Media Center is – so with increased processing power we should see other ‘controllers’ hopefully come onto the market over the next year or so. But does it also mean we have to shout very loudly over the din of the TV 😉 No it has a remote wireless USB mic too – ooh.

Posted by Gary Hayes ©2005