Exclusive: Prototype Bing app for Windows Phone shows improvements with word error rate, speech request latency, and noisy scenario handling

Earlier this month, Microsoft held a confidential event for employees where a handful of future technologies were demonstrated. In addition to Fresh Paint for Windows Blue, I’m now bringing you a live demo that was given of a prototype Bing app for Windows Phone to demonstrate a handful of speech recognition improvements:

  • Word error rate reduction
  • Reduction in latency for speech requests
  • Better handling of speech requests in noisy situations

At the end of the demo, Eric Rudder, Chief Technical Strategy Office, says that in addition to a 12-15 percent increase in word error rate accuracy in current tests, another 10-15 percent is “in the bank,” per his conversation with Microsoft Research speech scientists.

Although the demonstrator noted certain enhancements are already being rolled out to Windows Phone customers in select areas, what’s unclear is the timeline they’re following for everything else shown.

Will all of this be fully integrated into Windows Phone Blue, or will some of it have to wait until Windows Phone 9? Either way, go ahead and check out the demo below — especially if you’re a Windows Phone user/junkie:

And with that, I’ll go ahead and call this a post. I’ve got much more to come in the near future, so stay tuned!

128 Comments

  1. Very cool, looking forward to it. But I’d like to some continuity & augmentation between the local speech recognition api that exists in Windows and Bing Speech Recognition service.

  2. I have an unlocked Rogers Lumia 900 (with 7.8 8862) on Telus. The only time text to speech doesn’t work with texting is when I am on Bluetooth in my car.

    I needed to get the Nokia provided Network settings update in order for media in text to work. Is there an issue connecting with speech services on unlocked devices. Friends of mine on 7.5 on SaskTel have no problems with their text to speech on Bluetooth in their car.

    With or without wifi, mine seems to work fine otherwise.

    I haven’t tried it with my jawbone Bluetooth device yet, but I can tell the phone to “read it” or “reply”, but when it prompts me to speak, it seems to hear me but never connects to the service.. only in my car.

    Any reason why this might be?

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