Voice Signal's MicroREC Software Enhances Toys that Recognize and Respond to Spoken Commands
At the Toy Industry Association's annual Toy Fair in New York last month, several major toy manufacturers showed products that used speech recognition software from Voice Signal Technologies to achieve new levels of realism and interactivity.
Voice Signal, a developer of embedded speech technology for mobile devices and interactive entertainment products, said its MicroREC software is being licensed for use in new toys from DSI Toys, MGA Entertainment, Playmates Toys and Wow Wee (a subsidiary of Hasbro). The MicroREC software enables the new toys to recognize more than a dozen unique phrases and respond with one of several appropriate replies. Because the software is speaker-independent, the toys require no setup or training, so both kids and adults can start interacting with them right out of the box.
The new products that integrate Voice Signal's technology include:
• Yo, Dude from DSI Toys —a smart-talking interactive buddy who recognizes a dozen questions and responds with one of multiple appropriate and funny answers.
• Rock Buddies from MGA Entertainment—four interactive talking rocks, each with its own wacky and hysterical personality. Ask them a question and they'll always give you their rocks-eye view of the world.
• P.O.D.Z. from Playmates Toys —a line of off-the-wall cosmic characters that respond with clever sayings to any human voice. These "asteroids with attitudes" can accurately identify a dozen questions and will respond with a variety of unexpected—and sometimes outrageous— answers. P.O.D.Z also know when it's light or dark, react when you shake them, and can tell the future!
• Hey, Man from Wow Wee—the wisecracking toy with the big mouth. No one in the neighborhood can match wits with "the Man." Ask him one of fourteen questions and he'll respond with one of dozens of hilarious put-downs.
"These companies are toy industry leaders, with well-deserved reputations for creating fun, innovative, high-quality toys," commented Dan Roth, CEO of Voice Signal. "We are delighted that they have chosen Voice Signal's speech recognition technology to bring humor and realism to their new products."
All the toys mentioned above are expected to be available in the spring of 2002.