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Linux thin clients gain speech recognition

Feb 28, 2008 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 17 views

Igel Techology has announced the incorporation of Philips SpeechMagic voice recognition technology into its thin client devices. Operable with or without training, the technology supports 25 different languages, allows dictation directly into templates, and permits switching between client- and server-based recognition,… according to the company.

(Click here for a larger view of Igel's Proscribe thin client)

The Philips SpeechMagic technology is said to continuously adapt to users' vocabulary and the way they speak. It also transcribes dosages, measurements, etc. into standardized format, adds punctuation when necessary, and excludes irrelevant information like hesitations and silences, Philips claims.

SpeechMagic's client/server architecture permits three different types of document creation. The first, “frontend with online correction,” means that all recording and recognition is done on the thin client. “Frontend with deferred correction” performs recognition on the client, but not during recording. “Backend” means that raw audio is simply sent from the thin client to a server for processing.

On a thin client, SpeechMagic implements redirection of audio over the network, when necessary. It is compatible with both Citrix Presentation Server and Windows Terminal Server environments, Philips says.

According to Igel, new firmware now allows SpeechMagic to operate on almost all of its many thin clients, including its many Linux-based models. However, the technology has initially been integrated into the company's Windows XP Embedded-based ProScribe tablet (above). Intended for physicians, the tablet is touted as supporting dictation right at a patient's bedside, thereby helping to protect against medical errors.

The ProScribe is a thin client with a 1GHz Via Eden CPU, a 1024 x 768 touchscreen display, 512MB of RAM, and 1GB of flash storage. Sealed against water and dust and said to withstand three-foot drops, it includes integral AC '97-compatible circuitry for audio recording.

Further information

According to Igel, its channel partners can supply the thin clients with Philips software and hardware preloaded. Customers who already have thin clients in the field can license SpeechMagic products separately, download a new software image from Igel's website, then deploy it with the company's Remote Management suite.

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