Xbox Kinect's voice recognition to be NA/UK/Japan-only at launch

Many of those dreaming of a voice-controlled entertainment system in their living room will have to wait a little longer, as Microsoft confirms that only North America (with no French), the UK and Japan will have Xbox Kinect’s touted voice recognition enabled at launch.

According to Engadget, Germany, Italy, France, and Spain will receive the feature in Spring 2011. Microsoft says that the problem isn’t just with languages, but also with dialects of those languages. Microsoft claims that they even had to create different software versions for the US and UK – even attending to the range of dialects in those two countries was probably a massive feat (the British Library has a good database of accents for those of you that disagree).

There wasn’t any mention of other English speaking countries, and even as I attended a Microsoft Xbox Kinect preview event two nights ago, Microsoft Australia was still touting speech recognition as one of Xbox Kinect’s major selling points. Engadget is also reporting that even those that speak perfect English won’t have access to voice recognition unless they live in an area where it’s supported – it will be very interesting to see how all of this pans out on launch.

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This is really interesting product, Brody. Having a voice-controlled entertainment system in my living room will make life a little bit easier when the remote is lost. So can this system recognize anyone's voice in your family? I am also curious as to how much this technology is going cost when it first launches.

So this semi-sucks, but the other language support is only delayed until 2011 spring, so like a few months.

Add in the fact it still works fine as a motion controller, which is the target of MOST software for it at release, and it is less important.

Then add in the fact that a majority of younger people around the world speak english as a second/third/fourth language and it becomes even less of a hiccup. And again many of the target generation can often do a good job of pulling off an american or british accent just in case it is that picky.

Australian English is essentially British English. I haven't heard of Australia being excluded specifically on this anywhere, and I asked the question at the launch event about whether or not it would be supported and got a "yup"...

In fact upon Googling basically all results lead back to this post, lol. Self fulfilling cycle of sources?

ascendant123 said,
Australian English is essentially British English.
In terms of written language perhaps, but it is spoken with a different accent.

Kirkburn said,
In terms of written language perhaps, but it is spoken with a different accent.

It is but the article says dialects not accents; accents are typically much easier to deal with than dialects.

(Note that dialects include pronounciation, which is often incorrectly attributed to accent.)

Kirkburn said,
In terms of written language perhaps, but it is spoken with a different accent.

Yeah but we totally butchered it and reassembled it again in our own quirky way. No way you could possibly get away with using UK reognition, I'd really like to see how people with half and half accents manage, eg. Someone who's an Italian but speaks Engligh with a thick italian accent, yet has also lost their original pure Italian accent at the same time.

Jelly2003 said,

Yeah but we totally butchered it and reassembled it again in our own quirky way. No way you could possibly get away with using UK reognition, I'd really like to see how people with half and half accents manage, eg. Someone who's an Italian but speaks Engligh with a thick italian accent, yet has also lost their original pure Italian accent at the same time.

I've never had issues with the Windows voice recognition or Dragon and I'm Australian with a quirky European accent thrown in; as a result I basically have no accent what-so-ever now though, lol.

ascendant123 said,
In fact upon Googling basically all results lead back to this post, lol. Self fulfilling cycle of sources?
It's from Engadget?

Can anyone clarify, is it accents or dialects that are the problem they've had to work around? They are NOT the same thing. Accents are pronouncing the same words differently, dialects are using different words (or using them differently).

mog0 said,
Can anyone clarify, is it accents or dialects that are the problem they've had to work around? They are NOT the same thing. Accents are pronouncing the same words differently, dialects are using different words (or using them differently).

Probably both actually.

i'd like to point out that north america and United states are not the same thing. Title isn't exactly accurate. i thought that Canada (english )wasn't included after reading it.

signalpirate said,
i'd like to point out that north america and United states are not the same thing. Title isn't exactly accurate. i thought that Canada (english )wasn't included after reading it.
In my defense, an editor reworded the article title.

Getting English to work with all the different accents must have been a nightmare. The diversity of the English language is usually a benefit. In this case not.

Bhav said,

Why is it ever a benefit?

Chinese will be the next thing.already Chinese is being tough all over Africa / Asia Minor aka Middle East /India/ South America. 600 years ago Arabic was the language of choice for commerce,learning etc. No one language dominates forever.

danisflying527 said,
Wait so australia won't be getting voice recognition?
What a load of *********
Wow I ain't buying no Kinects anymoar

Two negatives... so you are buying one?

Hollow.Droid said,
Northern Irish dialect support would be a god send for this, but we're such a niche I can't see it happening

Pardon?

DARKFiB3R said,
neowin.net/forum/topic/934504-kinect-voice-control-not-available-in-some-countries-until-spring-2011/
You'll want to change your forum post to reflect the fact that only French-speaking Canadians are excluded.

mrmckeb said,
You'll want to change your forum post to reflect the fact that only French-speaking Canadians are excluded.

Has a french speaking canadian, I would only have used english recognition anyway.