New Car Kits To Use Voice

One of the most common dangers on the nation’s highways is the distracted driver—one who’s busy fiddling with the radio, finding contacts on his cell phone, or checking his email behind the wheel. To ease a driver’s responsibilities in such hands-busy, eyes-busy environments, Parrot introduced today two voice-powered products for cars and motorcycles, to be released during the second quarter of 2008.

Headlining these devices is the Parrot RK8200, a car stereo with an integrated Bluetooth car kit. The stereo hooks up a car with mobile Bluetooth handsets, iPods, or USB drives. It even has an input jack for analog devices. Most interesting for individuals in the speech sector is that the RK8200 uses proprietary text-to-speech technology and voice synthesis.           

Additionally, to ensure clarity of conversations, the RK82000 uses a special dual microphone to determine from which position a person is speaking and then chooses the best microphone to use in response. It is expected to retail at $279.99.   

Parrot’s second product that takes advantage of voice is the SK4000, a hands-free kit for motorcyclists. "With more than 6 million motorcycles in the U.S., we think there's a good market for hands-free cell phone and music devices for motorcyclists that's just waiting to be tapped," Ed Valdez, Parrot’s president and chief operating officer, said in a recent press statement.

Retailing at $189.99 the SK4000 allows users to stream music wirelessly via Bluetooth, listen to the radio, and make phone calls. Harnessing user-independent voice recognition software, the kit recognizes a contact’s spoken name and dials the number automatically. Additionally, a text-to-speech voice synthesizer reads contact names from the phonebook into the earpiece. It will also audibly identify radio stations to help a motorcyclist select the channel he wants.
When it comes to automobiles, text-to-speech technology has had its greatest impact in GPS services; Parrot’s implementations indicate a greater opportunities for the technology.  

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