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New Color E-Reader Tech To Challenge E-Ink Dominance 199

Technology Review reports from the Consumer Elecronics Show in Las Vegas that potential e-reader competitors to E-Ink are everywhere. The current market leader in e-book displays is greyscale-only, and it takes a long time to change the display ("turn the page"), so video applications are not possible. E-Ink says they will have a color display shipping by late next year, but it will be dimmer than the current greyscale and its response time will still be too slow for video. The wannabe competitors — Pixel Qi, Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, Liquavista, and Kent Displays — all do color and some of them can do video (Pixel Qi, Qualcomm, Liquavista), and some of them (Pixel Qi, Kent) are shipping now.

Comment Re:Mississippi John Hurt/Lionel Trains voice comma (Score 1) 98

I've actually tried out the vlingo application a couple of times, and the speech recognition is surprisingly good. They trained the system on a vast number of business names and addresses (easily over a million), and thus the application of vlingo I used was for "point of interest" queries in mobile search. When their CTO said "find me a Starbuck's in " and it worked, I naturally wanted to test it on other more odd queries. Even though the server-based recognition had adapted itself for the CTO's voice (based on the caller id information of his phone), I tried "find me Caribou Coffee in Wheaton Illinois" and it got it word for word. I tried a couple more place queries and even one that was fictitious but plausible, and it worked fine: their system is not based on a fixed speech grammar outlining all possible expected utterances, but a much more flexible statistical approach based on phoneme lattices. Voice input seems very appealing for mobile search when you contrast it to keypad entry. This study of a million Google Local Mobile queries showed that it took 56-63 seconds -- a full minute! -- to enter an average query by 12 key keypad, and about half that to enter the query via a PDA with a stylus and virtual keypad. So if a speech recognition interface that does it 2-3 seconds is a huge win if the accuracy is high enough for most users. I feel vlingo is at least tantalizingly close to this level of accuracy. You can get a feel for a similar system by trying out Google's free 1.800.GOOG411, to see how it works for you.

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