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Nintendo's New Voice Recognition Software Being Tested in Japan

Illustration for article titled Nintendos New Voice Recognition Software Being Tested in Japan

Nintendo is working with mobile phone carrier NTT on new voice recognition tech that can convert spoken words into text. The tech is aimed at students with disabilities.

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Words are converted to text, and the data is stored and accessed through the cloud, allowing students to also review and study later as well as see spoken words written in real time. The idea is that when the teacher speaks, the DSi becomes a mini blackboard the students can hold in their hands.

Trials are starting at schools in both Tottori Prefecture and Okinawa Prefecture. The goal is to eventually have hearing-impaired children use the DSi and this software as a communication tool outside the classroom.

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音声の文字変換 実用化の実験 [NHK]

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DISCUSSION

While this is really cool, the fact it's Nintendo Japan working with a Japan-only company like NTT makes me think that nothing will ever come of it from a worldwide standpoint. The last time they tried something with voice commands, it was too focused towards the Japanese grammar structure and could only recognize words in Japanese. They even had some Zelda spinoff based around it that never came out over here because English grammar and word structure was too different from the framework they set in place.

So while this news is fairly cool, I really don't expect to hear pretty much anything about it in the future. Nintendo of Japan still considers everything outside of its home territory kind of an afterthought.