My colleague Michael F. McTear has got a new and very topical book out! Voice Application Development for Android, co-authored with Zoraida Callejas. Apart from a hands-on step-by-step but still condensed guide to voice application development, you get the source code to develop your own Android apps for free!
Get the book here or through Amazon. And have a look at the source code here.
Exciting times ahead for do-it-yourself Android speech app development!
I just found out about the new venture of my colleagues, Ahmed Bouzid and Weiye Ma, and I’m all excited and want to spread the word!
They came up with the idea of a Wearable and hence Ubiquitous Personal Voice Assistant, XOWi (pronounced Zoe). The basic concept is that XOWi is small and unintrusive (you wear it like a badge or pin it somewhere near you) but still connects to your smartphone and through that to all kinds of apps and websites for communicating with people (Facebook, Twitter, Ebay) and controlling data and information (selecting TV channels, switching the aircon on). Moreover, it is completely voice-driven, so it is completely hands- and eyes-free. This means that it won’t distract you (if you’re driving, reading, working) and if you have any vision impairment or disability, you are still completely connected and communicable. So, XOWi truly turns Star Trek into reality! The video below explains the concept:
The type of application context is exemplified by the following diagram.
And here is how it works:
Ahmed and Weiye have turned to Kickstarter for crowdfunding. If they manage to get $100,000 by 21st November, XOWi will become a product and I will get one for my birthday in March 2014! Join the Innovators and support the next generation in smart communicators!
“In 1974 Donald Sherman, whose speech was limited by a neurological disorder called Moebius Syndrome, used a new-fangled device designed by John Eulenberg to dial up a pizzeria. The first call went to Dominos, which hung up. They were apparently too busy becoming a behemoth. Mercifully, a humane pizzeria – Mr. Mike’s – took the call, and history was made. It all plays out below, and we hope that Mr. Mike’s is still thriving all these years later….” (Smithsonian.com Blog)
Speech synthesis on this computer was rather slow, and it also apparently required “Yes/No” questions to just simply generate a “Yes” or a “No” too. Still, it could also synthesize other phrases, such as the pizza toppings (pepperoni and mushrooms, salami ...), the complex delivery address (the Michigan State Computer Science Department), as well as the contact number for callback. So not bad at all!
I was touched by the patience and kindness of the pizza place employee. He would patiently wait for up to 5 seconds for any answer, which must have been unnerving in itself! And now he is part of History! Good on him!! And well done to the Michigan State University‘s Artificial Language Laboratory and Dr. John Eulenberg!
It’s nice, flashy, and insightful, so I had to repost! :)
Apparently, my Top 5 posts with the most views in 2012 were:
- The voice-activated lift won’t do Scottish! (Burnistoun S1E1 – ELEVEN!) 8 COMMENTS July 2010
- Speech Recognition for Dummies 20 COMMENTS May 2010
- TEDxSalford (28 Jan 2012): 10 hours of mind-blowing inspiration 2 COMMENTS March 2012
- TEDxManchester (13 Feb 2012): Best of! 1 COMMENT May 2012
- What to do after a PhD? (University of Manchester Pathways 2011) 0 COMMENTS June 2011
Happy New Year!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 12 years to get that many views.
Click here to see the complete report.