As Microsoft plans on implementing its Kinect technology with mobile devices like laptops, Nintendo is similarly stretching the possibilities of its tech with the announcement that the company will be teaming up with mobile carrier NTT to produce new speech-to-text software, according to Andriasang.
The tech will be created specifically with student disabilities in mind and will seek to assist disabled students to keep up in the classroom without the need for special aides or services. NTT will be testing the technology primarily through the DSi. Words spoken by the teacher are converted into text and displayed on the DSi itself. The data is stored and can be accessed through the cloud, giving students the opportunity to review the teacher’s lessons even outside of the classroom.
The initial tests are set to begin at schools in both the Tottori and Okinawa Prefecture. Such technology, if employed properly, could open up countless possibilities for communicating in countries other than your own. Using your mobile gaming device as a possible communication tool is an innovation that certainly transcends the gaming industry. The question however, is whether or not NTT can set in place a framework that will allow languages outside of Asia to be recognizable to the software. The rules of English grammar and word structure for example, are vastly different from those of the Japanese dialect, so it will be a difficult challenge for NTT to apply the tech effectively across multiple cultures.
Not to mention, the temptation of having a gaming device in the hands of a child with the attention span of a squirrel may prove to be a consequence for teachers in and of itself. Either way, Nintendo and NTT get an A for effort. You can check out a video demonstrating the technology here on NHK, just note that it’s not in English.