It seems the days are numbered for your mouse and keyboard. Voice interaction is being touted as next big thing to happen to the world of computers and it seems that Google is already on the job.
Wouldn’t it be just wonderful if you and your computer could speak to each other? In terms of search, all you would have to do is say your query and your computer would reply with options and help you refine your search by asking you questions before you finally found what you wanted. Well that fantasy might soon become a reality.
Google recently announced that they have acquired Cambridge-based firm, Phonetic Arts, which specializes in artificial speech production and delivery from a computer.
Some of their established products include the PA Studio (voice creation), the Composer (combines recordings for new sentences), the Generator (converts text to voice) and a game engine that mixes and matches words to generate speech.
This acquisition clearly indicates that Google is all set to focus on developing its speech-based services on various applications like Google translate, web searches and voice searches on Android devices.
Both companies seem to be happy about this acquisition though the cost & terms of this deal has not been disclosed.
Mike Cohen, Manager of Speech Technology at Google pointed out in his official blog post that the prime reason behind this acquisition is because a lot of focus is being concentrated on speech technology and innovation in the UK and Google too wants to delve deeper into it.
We’re confident that together we’ll move a little faster towards that Star Trek future.
A team of researchers and engineers at Phonetic Arts are currently working on a project to generate natural speech in a computer by stitching together small fragments of recorded voices and vice versa. This, combined with Google’s strong engineering center in London, is an exciting prospect. Hopefully we don’t have to wait too long for a range of voice enabled Google applications which will make searching a whole new level.