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iPhone 5 May Get Text-to-Speech Conversion, Advanced Call Holding Features

CallCenter1Apple may make it easier to talk to friends while at a noisy bar or in a quiet room without uttering a word using a new patented text-to-speech and speech-to-text interface in the iPhone 5. This would lend credence to the Nuance voice recognition partnership we covered.

Patently Apple reports

the system involves using new text-to-speech and speech-to-text converters as well as providing a means of sending prerecorded notifications to the caller if you’re unable to speak when answering your phone.

In the noisy bar scenario, the iPhone user would be able to activate text-to-speech when the mic detects a noisy environment. Text is input into the iPhone and converted as simulated speech to the receiver. In the quiet office scenario, the iPhone user answers the call during a boring training seminar and activates the speech-to-text function. The caller’s speech would be converted by the iPhone to text so the iPhone user could ‘read’ the call live and then respond via text-to-speech conversion.

Another patent filed yesterday demonstrates advanced call hold features including the ability to hold an incoming call a la Dell customer support and play back a message such as “your call is very important to me, please stay on the line and the next available James Britton with be with you shortly.” The feature would also work if the iPhone user is currently on a call when a new call comes in. An option would be shown to have the phone pick up the call and automatically play the pre-recorded message.

Soon we will all be walking around with Bangalore call centers in our pockets. Brilliant… or maybe not.

via Patently Apple

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