I was putting this through it’s paces since the release and I want to capture my thoughts. First thing is that I actually gave up after a few minutes. It would not recognize my words. Granted I don’t enunciate correctly and my voice is on the shrill side but still….I don’t imagine voice software is particularly easy to create either. I gave it a rest and came back a couple days later after doing some more research. XBOX Voice is good at taking you back to the main menu. It’s got that down pat. XBOX HOME! It loves that. I was able to get it to respond well in a moderately quiet room speaking (not shouting) at it. Success is limited to ‘native’ commands. Next, previous etc. Bing anything turns into an excercise in frustration! What I would like to do is talk to it instead of shout commands at it. I would like it to evolve to the point where I can say: “Can you find me the latest version of Forza?”. That way, I can have a natural conversation with a machine. Ya, I know that sounds kinda odd. I actually have a wife I can (maybe) have a conversation with!
Think back to the first time Microsoft demoed Kinect with that little guy who was able to reach out from the TV and take a paper, and play with the puddle while understanding what you were saying… ya that one. I realized now that back then, I thought the whole thing was hard-coded. Turns out I was right. Because if I were wrong, XBOX voice would not be so frustrating. On the plus side, there’s tremendous potential once all the apps start working it into their routines. For now, voice will take you into some apps but because there’s no support, you have to go back to the control to pickup where you left off. All in all, it’s a good experience. I prefer it over waving my hand at the screen which gets tired really quickly – no minority report for me I’m afraid. In fact, it made me dust off my XBOX from the dump heap (yes, that’s where I put it, see my earlier post). So now it can find some limited use. I think this will get stronger by the release. And it is well poised to be a segment leader. It’s a given, unless Apple or Google beat them to it with the nice to haves that I pionted out.