Posts Tagged ‘Voice’

Google Testing Smartphone Speech Translation

February 8, 2010

It seems that Google is continuing its push into strange territory with news that the search giant is working on translation software that would see users able to translate speech directly.

Word comes from the Times of the Google project that it believes could well be the early steps of direct speech-to-speech translation, using smartphones as the middleman. This is something that Google has already started pushing towards with the speech recognition technology in versions 2.0 and 2.1 of its Android mobile operating system.

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3G Skype to Hit iPhone

February 4, 2010

It seems that Skype will soon be offering its iPhone users the ability to call one another using the service across 3G data connections.

At the moment, there is already a Skype app available for the iPhone through Apple’s App Store, but it only allows for calls being made over Wi-Fi connections, which, as well you might imagine, somewhat neuters the device when it comes to practical day-to-day use. Now though, it seems that the folks at Skype will be sorting out any lingering issues and offering a version that should allow a little more mobility.

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Skype Sees Massive Boost

January 19, 2010

It seems that Skype has seen a massive bump over the course of the last year or so, with the VOIP company now accounting for fully 12% of all international calling minutes.

According to a report from TeleGeography, growth of international telephone traffic on a whole has slowed, while Skype has seen its uptake continue steadily, managing to accumulate a massive following. It’s worth noting that Skype accounts for fully 12% of all “international calling minutes” but we’d imagine the percentage of international calls carried by Skype is far lower… it’s just that those using Skype for international calls are more likely to stay on the phone significantly longer.

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Skype Reaches Out Through HDTVs

January 6, 2010

Skype has announced today that, as part of a partnership with Panasonic, it wil be adding its voice over internet protocol (VOIP) software to Panasonic’s line of Viera HDTVs.

Panasonic’s new line of Viera cast-enabled tellies is set to hit during the still-vague “2010”, and with Skype coming pre-installed the company will be able to boast free Skype-to-Skype video calling out of the box, which is no mean feat at all. It’ll also be attractive to those who’ve been looking to ditch their house phones but can’t quite get around to it or for some reason or another don’t like the idea of a physical Skype-phone.

In a market with an atmosphere like the current HDTV market, where many products appear (to the casual observer, at least) to be fairly similar, the ability to make calls directly from one TV to another for free could well be a big selling point for the folks at Panasonic, to say nothing of the positive effect that broadening the software’s userbase will have for Skype, which essentially trades on the fact that it’s so widely used and relatively cheap.

Naturally, a wider userbase increases the likelihood that people will use some of Skype’s fee-based services too. While the option to call or videocall other Skype users is a pleasant one, the real bonus is, of course, in the ability to call other phones for less than the normal charge. It might well be a bit of a hard sell for some, but it’s not bad if it’s something that just comes as an add-on for a TV.

We’ll be curious to see how well Panasonic does out of the deal; it certainly won’t hurt the company to be able to offer something that others aren’t though, and cheap phone calls are a big draw.

Skype Teeters on Brink of Open Source

November 3, 2009

Yesterday it was revealed through the unusual medium of a routine Skype customer support call about the availability of the service on Linux that Skype was to be made open source… which seems big news indeed.

skype logo

Naturally, as soon as the wider internet got hold of the information, it ran and ran. The original blog post from Olivier Faurax that got the whole thing started states that when he contacted Skype’s customer support to inquire about a version of the software for Mandriva Linux, whenupon he was informed that,

“We understand that many users cmplain that there is no Mandriva version at present. We are happy to be able to inform you that Skype will from now on be part of the open source community. Therefore Linux developers will be enabled to influence the development of the Skype client for Linux – which will most certainly result in specific versions for the different distributions.”

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Microsoft Thinks Voice is Next Big Thing

November 3, 2009

Microsoft seems to be embracing touch-sensitive controls more with Windows 7, but the company has given indications that it believes the next big thing in the industry could well be voice commands.

microsoft logo

Microsoft’s general manager for the “Speech at Microsoft Group,” Zig Serafin, is reported to have said in no uncertain terms that, “Voice is the new touch.” Given the rate at which Microsoft seems to have accepted touch-screens, and even been one of the very few companies pushing touch support in the early days of tablet PCs, that’s a fairly big claim to be able to make. According to the folks over at TomsGuide, Serafin put it,

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