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Microsoft Keynote at SpeechTEK

Microsoft's demos make the case that NUI technology is coming closer and closer to realizing the dream.

I like the idea of a lunch keynote, although I recognize it's not the easiest thing for the speakers involved. This event made it a little easier by offering create-your-own bag lunches that had none of the forks-scraping-against-plate noise that typically results. I wrote yesterday about the Angel keynote on Monday and was so impressed with today’s presentation that I’m back in the saddle again.

Microsoft chose SpeechTEK, a relatively small show for them, to showcase a new set of speech messaging. Instead of each piece of the speech business tooting their own horn, Tuesday’s hour-long potpourri of content highlighted the breadth of Microsoft's work in speech, from the speech-enabling capabilities for KIA cars to speech commands for Windows 7 phones and Xbox. In between were a customer testimonial from Avis and an interesting 10 minutes on where speech technology is going in the next few years from Chief Scientist for Speech, Larry Heck.

The most compelling notion I came away with was NUI, natural user interface. The term has been around for a while and refers to a user being able to carry out relatively natural motions, movements or gestures that can control computer application or manipulate on-screen content. But Microsoft's demos make the case that technology is coming closer and closer to realizing the dream.

For those of you that didn't make it to New York for SpeechTEK this year, consider the attached video a highlights reel of lunch. Bon Appétit.