CeBIT 2005: 'Wearable Hub' for Communications in the Home

March 16, 2005
CeBIT 2005: 'Wearable Hub' for Communications in the Home

The day isn’t far off when it will be possible to control all home communications and automation systems by using a single wearable device that recognizes voice commands. Siemens developed such a small multi-talented communications device. It can be worn like a badge or pin on an article of clothing. The commands are transmitted via the Bluetooth short-range digital radio standard to a central home communications server. The server is equipped with voice recognition software, which converts the words into unambiguous commands for the hooked-up systems.

The user activates the “badge” with the push of a button and can then issue voice commands from any place in the home. A user can, for example, control the intercom system of a house or apartment and communicate with a visitor standing at the front door. Via voice command, the user can instruct the master locking system to open the door. The device can also be used to accept telephone calls and conduct phone conversations over a loudspeaker. A connection with an e-mail inbox on a PC is also envisioned. The voice recognition software reads incoming e-mails and uses a computerized voice to recite an e-mail’s text content to the user.

And there’s even a second variant of the communications wonder that’s worn around the neck. Both of the devices can replace a headset, which can become uncomfortable to wear on an everyday basis. Siemens developed a special acoustic design that makes it possible to place a device’s microphone and speaker close to each other without causing disturbing echo effects. And the design gives the integrated speaker a tone that can be clearly understood.

The server’s voice recognition software was developed by Siemens researchers in Munich and is already being successfully used in the SX1 cell phone. The program is user-independent; i.e. it doesn’t have to be “trained” to recognize the user’s voice. It can recognize 30,000 words, and predefined commands can be spoken. What’s more, the software also recognizes semantically linked words from longer sentences.

In the dealers’ pavilion at CeBIT, Siemens Communications is presenting several functions of the devices, which are still in the testing stage. Visitors can use a voice command to turn a lamp on and off, for example, or to open and close a door.

Explore further: AI expert calls on colleagues to take a stand on autonomous killer robots

Related Stories

BlackBerry rides with Boeing on self-destruct phone

December 22, 2014

The news from Reuters on Friday came as no shock to those who know Blackberry's strong rep for security (John Chen, the company's CEO, is not shy about promoting the company's branding message of safety. "Don't be fooled ...

Google to developers: you can get to work on Android Auto

November 20, 2014

Android Auto, intended to become the driver's popular go-to source for audio entertainment and messaging services, is aiming for the driver's seat and developer interest. Simply put, Google wants to bring the Android platform ...

Battle to sell the iPhone heats up in Japan

October 7, 2011

Japan's third-largest mobile carrier Softbank on Friday unveiled a lower monthly fee for the new iPhone than bigger rival KDDI, as competition for smartphone users heats up among the nation's mobile firms.

Recommended for you

Researchers design first artificial ribosome

July 29, 2015

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University have engineered a tethered ribosome that works nearly as well as the authentic cellular component, or organelle, that produces all the proteins ...

Meet the high-performance single-molecule diode

July 29, 2015

A team of researchers from Berkeley Lab and Columbia University has passed a major milestone in molecular electronics with the creation of the world's highest-performance single-molecule diode. Working at Berkeley Lab's Molecular ...

Researchers build bacteria's photosynthetic engine

July 29, 2015

Nearly all life on Earth depends on photosynthesis, the conversion of light energy into chemical energy. Oxygen-producing plants and cyanobacteria perfected this process 2.7 billion years ago. But the first photosynthetic ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.