Apple to Bring Speech-to-Text and Text-to-Speech Converters to iPhone

By Ashok Bindra May 17, 2011

On May 12, the US Patent and Trademark Office published 17 patents assigned to Apple, Inc. Two of those are directly related to speech-to-text and text-to-speech converters. While patent number 20110111805 is concerning synthesized audio message over communication links, patent number 20110111735 converts a callers speech into text.

In US patent application number 20110111805, a communication device establishes an audio connection with a far-end user via a communication network. With this technology, the communication device or smartphone receives text input from a near-end user, and converts the text input into speech signals. The speech signals are transmitted to the far-end user using the established audio connection while muting audio input to its microphone.

Likewise, US patent application number 20110111735 is a phone hold mechanism that holds an incoming call for a user and, in response, and plays back a pre-recorded message to the caller while holding the call. In fact, the pre-recorded message requests the caller to speak, and the caller’s speech is then converted into text and displayed on the screen of the portable communication device while holding the incoming call.

Plus, the new patents incorporate techniques to enable the iPhones to communicate in noisy environments like public places, meetings or restaurants.  

For patent number 20110111805, the inventors include Baptiste Paquier, Aram M. Lindahl, and Phillip G. Tamchina. However, patent number 20110111735 has a single inventor and that is Craig A. Pietrow.

Early last month, Patently Apple blog discovered new Apple patent applications for secondary and hybrid displays. While enabling Apple to add a secondary display to tablets, the new patent could also allow users to interact with future Apple devices in new ways that go beyond touching traditional displays.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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