Speech technology has existed for many years. Both speech recognition and TTS (Text-to-Speech) have been trialed in myriad environments such as PCs, handsets, and cars. Most phones allow voice dialing by pronouncing the name associated with the phone number. Similarly, phones often include features that pronounce the name of the caller when a call is received. Software exists to read out any text displayed on a PC; however, most of these speech applications are nice gadgets, which only are attractive to a small number of users. Speech technology has not yet achieved a major breakthrough – partly because the usefulness of speech technology is not always clear, and partly because the technology remains immature. But this is about to change, as far as PNDs are concerned.
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