A number of researchers have been looking at 'wearable computing' to understand the implications and role of a ubiquitous computer. One of the issues that occurs frequently for folks with a 'wearable computer' is dealing with the context shift as the user shifts from dealing with a person, then the computer and then back to the person again.

At the Georgia Institute of Technology they are researching ways to eliminate this context shift by employing 'dual-purpose speech', that is, speech that is part of the conversation with another person, but also is being used to control the wearable computer. For instance, while negotiating the day and time of a meeting with a co-worker the wearble computer listens for key phrases and manipulates the calendar as necessary. So if Alice says to Bob "Can I meet with you sometime next week?", and Bob who is using a wearble computer replies "When would you like to meet next week?" the wearable computer will spot the phrase "next week" and automatically display Bob's calendar for next week. As the meeting negotiations continue, Bob is able to simultaneously talk with Alice while manipulating his calendar.

The Gatech researchers have written an interesting paper called Augmenting Conversations Using Dual-Purpose Speech that describes this work. They used Sphinx-4 for this research.


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