'Hello, Computer!' Intel's Core M Catches Up To Scotty

In the excellent 1986 movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, fans watched delightedly as Scotty was invited to use the 20th century's most usable computer.


("Hello, Computer!" See more!)

It appears that Scotty's impulse to talk to the Macintosh was well-founded, from the standpoint of future history. Intel's new Core M line of chips will incorporate a digital signal processor core dedicated to processing audio that can constantly listen for voice instructions.

“It doesn’t matter what state the system will be in, it will be listening all the time,” says Ed Gamsaragan, an engineer at Intel. “You could be actively doing work or it could be in standby.”

It is possible to set any two- or three-word phrase to rouse a computer with a Core M chip. A device can also be trained to respond only to a specific voice. The voice-print feature isn’t accurate enough to replace a password, but it could prevent a device from being accidentally woken up, says Gamsaragan. If coupled with another biometric measure, such as webcam with facial recognition, however, a voice command could work as a security mechanism, he says.

Via Technology Review.

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