We’re starting to see a little more news about Microsoft’s speech interface in Windows Phone 7. At the 2010 SpeechTEK Conference today, Zig Serafin, general manager of the Speech Group at Microsoft, delivered a keynote address describing Microsoft’s vision for speech and natural user interfaces. Among other things like Xbox Kinect’s speech UI and in-car computer speech UIs, he also discussed how the TellMe service will allow Windows Phone 7 users to ask, “Who is pitching for the Giants tonight?” and get a listing of starting pitchers as well as ticket and weather information for the game.
You might be thinking, “Well, Android has speech-to-text in all text fields!” That’s not a natural user interface at all. It’s actually quite unnatural since in order to use it, you’ve got to look at the text field with your eyes, then touch the text field with your finger, then touch the microphone button with your finger, THEN start speaking. An actual speech interface should be navigable and usable using only your natural language speech and your ears for input.
After reading the press release, does it sound like Microsoft is on the right track to creating an actually usable speech interface for your phone, car, and TV?