Microsoft continues to work on voice-assistive technologies. The goal is to help people accomplish tasks more quickly through natural and conversational tones, reducing the latency while serving up correct answers more quickly on Bing and other apps.
Words appearing on the Window Phone screen using Microsoft's latest natural-language processing technology build on each keyword as the user pronounces each word.
A new algorithm provides a 12% improvement in word error rate, returning results in .52 seconds; and without added background noise, 43 seconds.
Retailers want to make sure they hear consumers. Some have begun to build voice search into apps, such as the Home Depot app V.3.0 for Windows Phone 8 devices. The YouTube app for Windows Phones also supports voice search, along with map driving directions, Wikipedia, Yogurt Finder, and Taxi Locator. Marketers also will see voice search in Facebook and other social apps.
In a research note the RBC Mobile Conference, analyst Mark Mahaney references a presentation from Google on natural-language voice recognition that aims to make mobile search "a smoother experience."
Google's voice efforts go beyond mobile. The company recently introduced Google Keep, an Android app to save ideas and organize to-dos the moment they happen. The app allows users to create notes, lists, photos and voice recordings right from the desktop or phone. In the coming weeks, users will have an option to do the same from Google Drive.
TVs also will become smarter, according to IHS. The research firm points to LG's, Samsung's and Sony's focus on developing their own smart TV platforms. These manufacturers are seeking ways to differentiate themselves from the competition and to add new hardware and software features that enhance the consumer experience, such as content discovery, personalization of the home screen, motion, voice commands and search and multiscreen capabilities.