Latest Handset News

Patrick Garde June 29, 2012 0
Latest Handset News

LG is hoping to tackle the increasingly popular integration of voice controlled features in the smartphone market with its own Quick Voice service.

Apple got the ball rolling in this industry with the launch of Siri along with the iPhone 4S in late 2011. Siri has subsequently arrived on the new iPad thanks to iOS 6, but of course Apple is not alone in experimenting with this type of functionality.

Samsung has been talking up its own S Voice service, allowing people who pick up the Galaxy S3 to experience its own take on the technology. Now its domestic rival LG has joined the fray and by the looks of it Quick Voice will in the very least be competitively equipped.

The bad news is that for the time being only LG Optimus smartphones based on the Android operating system and owned by Korean users will be compatible with Quick Voice, which means an international roll-out is a little way from being enacted.

However, LG`s work certainly looks promising as Quick Voice will be compatible with 11 different apps from launch and will eventually become more deeply integrated into the Android experience as time goes on.

Amongst the functions it can carry out are YouTube video searches, appointment arrangements and even location-based features. LG remains cagey about just how closely Quick Voice will mirror Siri`s functions, although it is worth noting that even Apple`s software is not available in its fullest form outside of the US, with European customers having to put up with limited local search capabilities.

In fact for the time being many of the voice controlled personal assistant programs that are hitting the smartphone market are not quite up to the task of replacing the standard interface. This is because they remain in a shifting, evolutionary state and are far from being perfected.

The companies that are developing them actively need to engage with customers and roll out these beta testing versions in order to gather the data they need to make future improvements.

LG has said that the Optimus Vu smartphone/tablet hybrid will be one of the first devices to get Quick Voice, with a launch expected before the end of June. Meanwhile the Optimus LTE 2 will get it around a month later, in line with the anticipated rollout of Android 4.0 updates.

Ever since Siri arrived people have got more used to the idea of talking to their smartphone and asking it questions or making requests, despite the initially unnatural feeling of such interaction. It is further evidence that Apple needs to be the firm that popularises technologies which were developed elsewhere in order to get them the attention that they need to succeed.

It remains to be seen whether other firms will jump on the voice control bandwagon with their own projects, or license existing technologies. The next generation HTC Sensation might therefore get its own proprietary voice control, or the manufacturer could look to LG, Samsung or Google itself for aid.

Image courtesy of Phil Roeder on Flickr.

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