Voice recognition is not new, I have been using it on mobile devices ever since Microsoft first released Voice Command back in 2003. Of course, the quality of recognition and the ability to control devices has improved significantly since 2003, but a new patent filing by Apple reveals the possibility for voice recognition going to a whole other level. The patent application describes a process for identifying your voice and understanding complex commands.
Everyone who first learns about voice recognition, particularly on personal computers, tends to have thoughts of someone coming up behind them and issuing a command. Imagine while you are working on a Word document someone says “File, Close” or “Computer, shutdown.” Apple apparently is working to solve that problem by enabling devices to determine whether a command is being spoken by the right person and then ignoring commands from other people. It’s the type of stuff from Star Trek.
Android already has voice recognition deeply embedded to perform both speech to text and to control the device using what Google calls Voice Actions. The next version of Windows Phone, code named Mango, will include voice commands similar to Google’s. In 2010 Apple bought Siri, which was a company that had developed an app that enabled one to control an iPhone with voice commands, and we expect that Apple will be integrating Siri’s functionality in iOS 5.
Clearly, all three platform companies recognize that voice recognition and control will be an important part of mobile devices in the near future. Some time soon you might be able to push a button and say, “Computer, order me a pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms” and have a pizza ordered and delivered from your favorite pizza place.