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Introducing ‘Meet Voice-to-text” Hands-free Messaging Feature in “Mango” Windows Phone 7

Among the 500 new features that “Mango” Windows Phone 7 is bringing along with it this fall– is a features called “Meet Voice-to-text,” a new hands-free messaging feature.

“Voice-to-text works for both text and instant messages, and it’s handy even when you’re not driving since it can slash the time you spend typing–a good thing at times even considering the fantastic keyboard on WP. But the feature really shines when being hands-free is a necessity, like when driving. If your car has Bluetooth built in, and you pair WP with it. Now, when a message comes in, WP would use the Bluetooth connection and car’s sound system to narrate the message and record your response (pausing and resuming music or the radio if needed),” explains Bill Pardi, at Windows Phone blog.

Alex, who works in Microsoft’s Tellme said, “WP taps the Tellme cloud service for voice recognition and transcription. “No one else has it,” Alex said, “and we think customers are really going to like it.” The service, he notes, has built-in ways to learn from itself and improve recognition and transcription accuracy over time-all without putting additional software on the phone. The feature, he says, “will just get better and better as more people use it.”

He also that WP understand a limited set of key phrases and will transcribe them as abbreviations. For e.g. Mango phone can speak modern-day abbreviations such as TTYL (“talk to you later”), LOL (“laugh out loud”), and even (“happy smiley face”) and could translate those back while composing a text message.

Alex also walked through several other Speech-related improvements on the way. In Mango, for example, Speech can be triggered even when the phone is locked by pressing and holding the Start button. You also have control over how and when text messages are read. By default, the phone reads messages aloud when connected to Bluetooth headset or stereo (which is how WP knows to read my text messages in the car).

In Mango, there’re some great new accessibility-related Speech features coming in –using voice to forward calls and setup a speed-dial list. In one very cool example, Alex stored a number in a speed dial location and then dialed it, hands-free.

Other things you can use Speech for in WP include:

  • Making a phone call by name or nickname
  • Redialing a number
  • Calling voicemail
  • Searching Bing
  • Turning on the speakerphone
  • Starting an app while in a call
  • Navigating Maps

Watch the video below demonstrating Specch interface in Mango:

[Source:Windows Phone blog]

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