Thirty years ago the speaking on-board computer in the starship Enterprise from the Star Trek film was sensational science fiction.
Today, mobile telephones and speech-communication with computers are part of our everyday lives. The advantages of speech-supported Machine Man Communication are clear to see:
- Speaking is for most people easier than typing and reading
- Speech-control can dispense with the need for a screen and keyboard.
- The necessary hardware therefore becomes more practical and lighter
- Mobile data recording tasks away from the work desk can be carried out efficiently and touch-free using speech-control
Well-known examples of voice-controlled programs in business are pick-by-voice solutions or the dawin checkMaster program with speech-control.
But how does speaking to machines work? It’s actually quite simple, says dawin gmbh from Troisdorf. The company, specialising in the development of speech-supported software solutions, offers among other things a platform for mobile data recording, using speech-control. The software can be easily installed on tablet PCs or PDAs and enables a wide variety of data, including alphanumeric information, check boxes and text blocks to be recorded. Even image data, GPS coordinates or bar codes and RFID can be recorded using a speech command.
Using modern speech technology, it is possible to place the recorded word in the input or application context. This drastically reduces the relevant vocabulary for speech recognition. The likelihood of the program correctly understanding the input is therefore very high. dawin nonetheless stresses that there is no 100% hit rate for speech-controlled programs. This doesn’t exist with people, either. During discussions between people, we occasionally ask the other person to repeat something because we didn’t understand it. Good software programs allow us to interact and ask this kind of question. Both people and programs can, if necessary, be asked to repeat the input or the voice response.
Mobile working will for ever more be part of our daily lives. The switch between devices, such as a client PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone becomes smoother and is aimed more at individual requirements. Speech can make an important contribution towards making mobile data recording safer, more comfortable and more efficient.