iPhone update rumoured to add voice recognition

April 22, 2009 | 12:12

Tags: #iphone #speech-recognition #speech-synthesis #voice-recognition

Companies: #apple

The iPhone 3.0 update might have a rather neat trick up its sleeve in the form of voice control if reports from developers prove true.

According to an article over on Ars Technica, the upcoming iPhone 3.0 operating system has a feature codenamed “Jibbler” which appears to offer both voice synthesis – similar to the technology which got Amazon into hot water with the Kindle 2 – and voice recognition abilities.

Described as an update to SpringBoard - the application which manages the iPhone's homescreen - Jibbler appears to offer a touch-activated recording function to capture short snippets of your voice. These sound-bites which are then analysed to see if they contain a command the software can understand. As well as performing a task on demand, Jibbler is also able to use its speech synthesis capability to read out a response – offering users an 'eyes-free' experience.

There has, of course, been no word from Apple on whether Jibbler really does work in this way, whether it will be enabled on existing handsets or only on the rumoured third-generation iPhone hardware. While other smartphones – including those based on the Symbian platform – have featured voice-activated dialling for quite some time, a fully integrated voice recognition and synthesis system would give the iPhone's already extensive feature-list an interesting boost. That said, if the technology is limited to voice dialling and having an incoming SMS read out to you then perhaps it won't be quite such a breakthrough.

Will voice recognition finally convince you to buy an iPhone, or does the platform need more than that to overcome its inadequacies? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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