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IBM's Magic Block: voice recorder with speech recognition

Marc Perton

If IBM is ever able to manufacture its Magic Block voice recorder, it'll make just about every other recorder obsolete overnight. The Magic Block is a concept for a digital voice recorder that includes a few handy features -- such as biometric security and an intriguing design that limits accidental recordings -- and one function that makes it unique: built-in voice recognition software that can recognize both spoken words and the actual speaker, allowing a user to search for text as well as for comments from specific speakers. Since IBM already makes speech recognition software, we assume this is something that may be more than just some pie-in-the-sky design. Then again, given that a top IBM exec recently declared that there's "no such thing as the next big thing," maybe the company has already given up on actually bringing new products like this to market -- though we really hope not.

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