RUMOR: Next Xbox Will Feature Enhanced Speech Recognition

By Michael Epstein email: m.epstein@gamenguide.com , Updated Feb 07, 2013 04:51 PM EST
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The next Xbox may feature enhanced speech recognition technology, allowing users to control a larger percentage of general features with vocal commands.

According to The Verge, the next Xbox, codenamed "Durango," will allow users to add a much wider range of vocally-triggered search parameters. For example, instead of pressing the Xbox button, users will be able to turn on their consoles by simply saying "Xbox on." Similarly, the Xbox will be able to answer longer/more complex questions using natural speech detection: For instance, if users ask; "What are my friends playing?" The console would pull up their friends list, showing who's online and what they're playing. In some cases, the console will also be able to answer searches/queries with spoken responses.

The next Xbox may also use a Kinect sensor to detect contextual information in the room to enhance answers. If a user asks the Xbox for a list multiplayer games, the console will detect how many people are in the room and offer suggestions that feature multiplayer for a group that size.

In addition to predictable vocal cues, Microsoft's upcoming console may also feature speech-to-text functionality. Users will be able to dictate messages to the Xbox, instead of typing or, worse, selecting characters individually with a controller. The feature will be invaluable should rumors that of Durango's Skype integration hold up.

Microsoft is expected to unveil the next Xbox at a dedicated event before E3, launching the console in late 2013.

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