FIRe: Qualcomm CEO down on voice recognition

CORONADO, Calif. - Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs doesn't see sophisticated voice-recognition software becoming a reality within the next few years, he said at the Future in Review conference Monday.

"The ones that work well now are the ones that have some kinds of restraints," Jacobs said in kicking off the conference with a discussion on the future of the mobile phone. Conference chairman Mark Anderson tried to pin Jacobs down on the likely time frame for 10,000-word or even 5,000-word voice recognition systems, but he wouldn't bite. Regional accents and dialects make it to build universal systems that work without the user training the software to recognize his or her voice, Jacobs said.

It's more likely, however, that concepts such as the mobile wallet will take off over the next few years as authentication technologies improve, Jacobs said. Jacobs and Anderson mused about a powerful intelligent phone that could not only conduct transactions, but use location-aware technology to broadcast the user's location to a preselected list of friends or businesses. To some Japanese wireless customers, that vision has already arrived, they noted.

At some point, Jacobs sees the mobile phone or smart phone starting to displace the laptop, a trend already in progress if you count the BlackBerry, he said. The increasing use of wireless technologies could allow people to walk around with phones that could connect to larger screens in offices or homes.

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