What’s All This About “Wearables”?

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“Wearable” devices that allow us quick interaction with features typically found on smartphones are becoming increasingly controversial, according to the Applied Voice Input Output Society. A variety of new devices and features introduced last week at the Consumer Electronics Show raised the stakes for vendors seeking the right formula.

Some analysts suggest wearables are the “next big thing” and others suggest a limited role for such devices. A keynote panel at the Mobile Voice Conference, March 3-5 in San Francisco (http://www.mobilevoiceconference.com), led by Todd Mozer, CEO, Sensory Inc., will address the issues surrounding the category. Panelists will dig into what is available, what is to come, alternative concepts, and support for independent apps for the potentially explosive category. Panelists include:

Jeff Harris, Product Manager, Glass, Google
Eric Migicovsky, Founder and CEO, Pebble
Sunil Vemuri, Founder and CPO, ReQall
Ahmed Bouzid, CEO, XOWi Inc.
Steven Holmes, Vice President, New Devices Group and General Manager, Smart Device Innovation, Intel

“Wearables bring the power of mobile devices to a new level of availability,” according to industry analyst William Meisel, editor of Speech Strategy News and author of The Software Society. “There is no need to pull out a smartphone or tablet to receive alerts or request information.”

Mozer said that the category is new enough that fundamental questions remain. “What is the right form factor for a wearable? What is driving the market need for such a device? Is interaction by voice necessary or is a small display enough? Should a voice-activated device be always listening or awakened by a key phrase? Will a camera or microphone create privacy concerns with others? How dependent is a wearable on a connected device? And more.” Mozer noted that discussion and debate will include the opportunity for attendees to ask questions.

The Mobile Voice Conference is organized by the Applied Voice Input Output Society (AVIOS), a non-profit industry organization that has been helping to move advanced natural-language technologies such as speech recognition into commercial reality for 25 years. The conference covers natural interaction with mobile devices, with examples of what companies are doing in the area and available resources to create interactive applications. The full program is available at mobilevoiceconference.com/program.

About Sensory

Sensory, Inc. offers a complete line of IC and software-only solutions for speech recognition, speech synthesis, speaker verification, music synthesis and more. Sensory's products are widely deployed in consumer electronics applications including mobile, automotive, Bluetooth devices, toys, and various home electronics.

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Peggie Johnson

Bill Meisel
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