Japan Today

NEC develops tech to enable voice control of electronics in noisy environments


NEC Corp said Wednesday it has developed speech recognition technologies that enable household electronics to be controlled by voice commands through a combination of the company's noise cancellation and speech enhancement technologies.

In recent years, technologies have enabled information devices, such as electrical appliances, tablets, and smartphones, to be controlled by voice. However, these devices require built-in microphones that must be spoken to at close range. If users in a noisy environment are slightly removed from a speech recognition capable device, whether watching television, preparing a meal, or riding in a vehicle, the device tends to respond to background noise, rather than a user's command, which often results in mistaken operations.

NEC's latest technologies enable devices to be reliably operated by voice through an interface and microphones that accurately recognize a person's voice. This accuracy is maintained even when users are distant from a device in a noisy environment, where existing technologies have difficulty operating effectively. As a result, users who are in noisy locations, such as a busy living room or kitchen, can still operate electrical appliances and specialized devices by voice when separated by roughly one meter.

"These innovative technologies can enable car navigation systems to overcome background noise and accurately detect voice commands from the driver of a moving car," said Akio Yamada, General Manager, Information and Media Processing Laboratories, NEC. "Employees of warehouses, manufacturing plants and retail stores can also benefit from the convenient data input of these new technologies as their hands remain free to focus on other tasks."

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I'd really like to see if this technology really works. I've so often seen and/or heard about voice technology, only to be greatly disappointed in the results.

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Heads up JT; I think you misspelled enable on the title!

I can see myself using this tech to great results in the kitchen of my house if it continues to improve. How great would it be if your hands are covered in raw chickento just say "Preheat oven to 375 degrees"!

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Thank you. It has been corrected.

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Siri for bosozoku?

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Honda has somewhat similar technology. Honda's Asimo can recognize its master even it is mixed with other voices/noise.


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