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Summer is finally here. The days are getting longer; the temperature is rising; speech scientists and linguists are hitting the beach; my editor is grilling burgers on the balcony; interns are sunning themselves on the conference room table. And, as any industry analyst will tell you, nothing says summer like beef, beer, and marginally relevant speech technology.

So with that in mind, we at Overheard/Underheard bring you a collection of speech-enabled gadgets perfect for the summer months.

>>> Our first offering is the Oregon Scientific AW131 Grill Right Wireless Talking Oven/Barbeque Thermometer. Available at Amazon.com for $37.99, this baby is the perfect on-premises solution for any summer barbeque.

The AW131 features a digital LCD screen and remote wireless probe to gauge the temperature of a variety of meats—beef, lamb, veal, hamburger, pork, turkey, chicken, and fish. The unit offers users two verbal and three audio alert options to indicate cooking status and even speaks five languages: English, Spanish, German, French, and Danish.

>>> Once you’ve deployed your meat on the grill, it’s time to sit back and enjoy an ice-cold beer. And for that, you want to break out your Talking Beer Mug. Originally available from bimbambanana.com for $28, this gadget has become a bit of a collector’s item and may be hard to locate. But once you find one, the Talking Beer Mug will not disappoint, offering sage words of advice, like: Your beer is running dangerously low; Refill immediately—danger of sobering up; and Cheers! This summer, everyone who is anyone is going to be hosting his beer solutions in the Talking Beer Mug.

>>> And finally, if your family barbeques are anything like ours, once you’ve had your meat and beer, it’s time for a little verbal abuse. For that, we bring you Pistol the Pirate Parrot Cussing Animated Toy from aboyd.com. For only $17.50, this motion-activated plush parrot—complete with eye patch and pirate hat—will shout out one of 10 vulgar wisecracks, including: Hey, baby, you can hoist my !@#$% anytime! and I am a pirate out to claim me booty! Wa ha ha!     

Well, there you have it: Those are all the speech-powered ingredients you’ll need for summer fun. Until next time, from all of us at Speech Technology, happy summer, everyone.

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