Microsoft’s Bill Pardi recently sat down with a program manager from the Microsoft Tellme team, Alex Perez Avila, to discuss the voice-to-text features coming in the Windows Phone Mango update slated for this coming fall. Here is a bit of what is in the post entitled, Look who’s talking: Speech in Mango from the official Windows Phone Blog:
Alex works in the Microsoft Tellme team, which develops the voice recognition and text-to-speech technology found in a growing number of Microsoft products including Office, Windows, and Xbox. He told me that competing smartphones are adding some voice features, mostly for existing phone options. Alex and his team, meanwhile, wanted to create something seamless that felt natural for completing everyday tasks such as calling someone in your contacts list or finding a local restaurant. “We think this will set Windows Phone apart,” he said.
Alex also showed Bill some of the lesser-known features in Mango that include speech-to-text:
There are some great new accessibility-related Speech features coming in Mango—using voice to forward calls and setup a speed-dial list. When Alex showed me these, I was impressed. In one very cool example, he stored a number in a speed dial location and then dialed it, hands-free. Other things you can use Speech for in Windows Phone include:
- Making a phone call by name or nickname
- Redialing a number
- Calling voicemail
- Searching Bing
- Turning on the speakerphone
- Starting an app while in a call
- Navigating Maps
Having used the Mango betas for the last few weeks, I’ve used this feature for messaging extensively and I can say that it is as cool and useful as it is accurate. It’s a great addition to Windows Phone and one that many users will both use and enjoy. You can read the post on speech-to-text in its entirety here.