Amazon silences the kindle after pressure

Posted in kindle by Conner Flynn on February 28th, 2009

Amazon silences the kindle after pressureIf you liked the idea of being able to use your new kindle to listen to the books you buy, too bad. Even though you paid for the ‘text-to-speech’ feature, Amazon has caved in to the Authors Guild and authors, who will now have the right to block the audio feature being used on their books. Amazon has bowed to pressure from the Authors Guild and will allow authors and publishers to disable the controversial text-to-speech feature on its Kindle e-reader.

Insiders say the move by Amazon was intended to smooth relations with authors, not avoid any lawsuits.

Kapten: Screen-free GPS navigation system

Posted in GPS by Conner Flynn on August 14th, 2008

Kapten: Screen-free GPS navigation system
Here’s something you don’t see everyday. A GPS device without a screen from French company Kapsys. It seems at first like a horrible idea, but speech can be just as powerful. It’s a one-of-a-kind mini portable GPS device with a voice recognition interface.

It’s designed mainly for pedestrians who need directions, and also includes a text-to-speech feature. It might also help you keep your eyes on the road. TeleAtlas will offer the map information, while Kapsys provides still more city-related information on their website. Features a SiRF Star III GPS receiver, Bluetooth, MP3 player, FM Radio and hands-free capability. As far as storage it has 4GB of internal memory. Expect it around mid-September for 150 Euros.

iPhone Voice Recognition coming soon

Posted in iPhone by Conner Flynn on July 23rd, 2008

iPhone Voice Recognition coming soon
Those wanting voice recognition for their iPhone may be in luck soon. AT&T has been working on a web-based platform called Speech Mashups. It works like this. The platform sends your speech to a remote server, translating commands to control your handset. Since it’s web-based, other devices aside from the iPhone will be able to use the technology as well.

It will be compatible with most browser-equipped AT&T handsets, wireless devices and even TV set-top boxes. You just need an Internet connection. One downside with the iPhone is that Speech Mashup can’t perform voice-dialing because it is compatible with web-coded apps only. Still, it’s a fascinating development.