One of the features that many people are quick to point out is missing from the iPhone is voice dialing. Hundreds of phones offer such a feature and when the new iPhone 3G didn’t have it, people were left wondering why. Soon the iPhone will have at least a few voice-type features thanks to technology that AT&T is researching and developing. It won’t give iPhone owners voice calling, but what it will give them the option to give voice commands.
AppleInsider explains more about it saying, “The research project is based on a new version of AT&T’s WATSON speech recognition engine, dubbed Speech Mashups, that puts the entire feature on the web as a service that can be called upon from anywhere a high-speed Internet Connection is possible.”
We saw a video (found here at the bottom) of the technology in action and it looked pretty accurate. The person doing the demo was on the mobile Yellow Pages website, and they were able to speak the city and state they were in and the business name or category they were looking for (in this case, Japanese Restaurants) and the technology translated the spoken words in text. It worked perfectly in the demo.
Of course this is something that will work on more than just the iPhone which is nice to know as well. For iPhone owners though, this will be pretty big because it’s their first opportunity (aside from one App) to make use of any type of voice feature on their phones. The only downside that we can see so far is that a phone has to have a decent connection to AT&T’s servers for this to work.