Last week, I ranted about Microsoft's investments in speech recognition and made the observation that IBM had already secured a pile of fundamental patents in this space. Earlier this week, I had a delightful call with Barbara Britt, program director for IBM's embedded ViaVoice products. Among other things, I learned just how far this technology has made it into the world: the ViaVoice architecture is used in General Motor's OnStar system, as well as in the navigation systems for Honda and several other automobile manufacturers. This same technology is being used with Teges' i-Rounds integrated clinical information system, providing hands-free interaction. One surgeon noted that while operating, it's not very convenient to use a keyboard if you are holding someone's heart in your hands.
Very cool stuff, indeed.