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CES Feature Articles

January 07, 2014

Voice Control Tech Optimizes Hands-Free Smartphone Use

Global handset manufacturer ZTE (News - Alert) announced the debut of a brand new voice control technology for its latest smartphones yesterday at the CES 2014 convention in Las Vegas. The company’s latest iteration of smartphone technology, the Grand S II, will serve as both the company's flagship device as well as a showcase of their newly developed voice controls. When implemented, the ZTE Grand S II will include a driving assistant, voice recognition unlocking, and even voice-activated photography.

The Grand S II's voice recognition tools are able to recognize the voice of one or even multiple owners of the phone, and can even differentiate between them to unlock different levels of access. This could mean that the device grants full access to an adult who simply asks their phone to unlock. That same adult could later hand the phone to one of their young children, who might only have access to games when they unlock it.

ZTE Grand S II, image via CNET (click to enlarge)

Voice-activated photography makes snapping photos quick and easy. Forget setting up a timer on a camera, because it can wait to snap the picture until after everybody says “cheese.” Even the popular trend of taking a so-called “selfie” can be shortened to a mere couple of seconds.

Finally, the ZTE driving assistant promises to make smartphone interaction while driving both safer and more convenient. Going beyond simple speech-to-text and bluetooth headsets, the “My-drive” feature will recognize the driver's voice above the din of traffic, allowing users to receive calls, play messages and even music without having to touch the phone. It can even quickly switch to a “do not disturb” mode for when the roads require more attention, automatically directing incoming calls to voicemail and replying to texts.

ZTE is one of many companies to announce new voice control technology at the CES convention this year, most notably Audience (News - Alert)'s VoiceQ software. The fact that so many mobile companies are developing voice-activated controls means that this will become a very big market in the smartphone industry. Soon, quality voice control will be more than a luxury – it could even become a standard feature.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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