A nice piece about PC voice recognition at Mitch Wagner’s drive-thru.org: YOU’LL ALWAYS BE ABLE TO SWEAR AT YOUR PC WHEN IT CRASHES.
My friend Nat Polish was involved a few years ago in the launch of a company called Soliloquy. The basic idea was to create a voice interface to a database; you should be able to walk up to a computer or a kiosk and say, “I’m interested in a song by the Beatles,” and have the database respond and carry on a (highly structured) conversation. They got it working well enough to sell some real-life demos before the company collapsed.
As the company was launching, I overheard Nat giving an interview to CNBC, I think it was. I couldn’t catch the whole thing, but at one point Nat looked squarely into the camera and said from his considerably lofty technoperspective:
“You understand, of course, that the keyboard is a transitional device….”