Xbox 720 Rumors: Next Microsoft Console May Have Siri-Like Voice Control, Release At E3 2013

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By Ian Kar | February 9, 2013 5:34 AM EST

Microsoft's rumored next-gen console, allegedly named the Xbox 720, may feature Siri-like speech recognition software. 

The Verge spoke to sources close to the Xbox 720's development, who said the next-gen Xbox console may come with a plethora of speech-related features, including "wake on voice" -- which would activate the system upon hearing the user say "Wake up, Xbox" -- as well as the ability to interpret natural language, and turn your speech to text. Users may also be able to automatically pick up video files where they left off by simply asking the console to play a film, and with the speech-to-text feature, users can send each other voice messages directly over the Xbox.

According to the Verge, the natural language detection process may be similar to Apple's Siri. Siri was introduced in 2011 as an exclusive feature of the iPhone 4S and has since been added to other iOS devices, including the iPhone 5, the iPad Mini, the iPad 4 and 3, and new iPod touches. Siri mainly serves as an intelligent personal assistant on your phone, but the technology behind it's ability to understand natural speech patterns made Siri unique at the time. However, the technology has since been replicated, most notably by Google with its Google Search app, a similar service that some say works better than Siri.

However, all voice-related technologies from Apple, Google and don't work without an Internet connection. If Microsoft plans on adding a Siri-like service for the Xbox 720, they might need to implement an "always-on" Internet requirement so the service can function at all times; according to recent reports, it looks like Microsoft will indeed implement this "always-on" feature.  Xbox 720 will indeed feature this "always-on" connection. Most reports point to the Xbox 720 featuring this Siri-esque service on the next-gen console, but Microsoft has yet to confirm anything about the Xbox 360 successor, including its very existence; Sony's PlayStation 4 is said to include a similar feature as well.

Microsoft has also been experimenting with an updated Kinect sensor that has the ability to determine the number of people in the room and then suggest multiplayer games and game modes.

As for the release date for the Xbox 720, Microsoft may reveal more details about the rumored device at E3 2013, the computer and video game trade show. Comparatively, Sony may unveil their PS4 as soon as Feb. 20, according to reports. The Verge did write that its sources said that Microsoft may hold a separate event, similar to Sony's, before E3 to unveil their newest console. 

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