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: Top car tech trends from CES 2018

Related Stories

Top car tech trends from CES 2018

January 10, 2018

Artificial intelligence that controls your infotainment screen. A vehicle that can read your brain. Cars that can see around blind corners.

What to watch for at the CES technology show

January 4, 2018

Every year one or two breakout technologies capture the imagination of consumers. Eighteen months ago, it was Pokemon Go, the first augmented reality mobile app to really catch fire. A few years before that, it was 3-D printers.

New artificial intelligence index tracks the emerging field

January 9, 2018

Since the term "artificial intelligence" (AI) was first used in print in 1956, the one-time science fiction fantasy has progressed to the very real prospect of driverless cars, smartphones that recognize complex spoken commands ...

Voice impersonators can fool speaker recognition systems

November 15, 2017

Skilful voice impersonators are able to fool state-of-the-art speaker recognition systems, as these systems generally aren't efficient in recognising voice modifications, according to new research from the University of Eastern ...

Clear talk for first responders

October 25, 2017

For first responders, such as firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians, a successful outcome to a mission—and perhaps the difference between life and death for them and those they are helping—depends ...

Recommended for you

A new polymer raises the bar for lithium-sulfur batteries

January 18, 2018

Lithium-sulfur batteries are promising candidates for replacing common lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles since they are cheaper, weigh less, and can store nearly double the energy for the same mass. However, lithium-sulfur ...

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.