Developer Red Storm had promised to bring voice commands to its new Star Trek Bridge Crew VR experience, using IBM Watson as a foundation for the tech. Now, players can do their best Jean-Luc Picard impersonation and "make it so" from their virtual captain's chair.
The new update takes Watson's speech-to-text functionality, "transcribes the voice command and then sends it through Watson Conversation to parse the meaning of the text and deliver the command." The result is that players can simple press a button and say "Make it so" to engage the warp drive, "On screen" to answer a communications hail, "Damage Report" to get an update on all systems, and "Red Alert" to make the ship ready for battle.
The upgrade wasn't available in time for the launch of the game last month, but now the speech commands will work for both the USS Aegis and the old-school USS Enterprise on all VR platforms.
“We have been eager to find the right way to use interactive speech to tap into the more immersive and interactive experiences that VR offers,” David Votypka, Red Storm's senior creative director, said when the first announcement was released. “Watson gives Captains in Star Trek: Bridge Crew the ability to issue commands to non-player crew members in the same way they do with a human crew; by using their voice. IBM provides an easy to integrate solution that is cloud based, so it's light on code and performance while letting us remain fast on feature turnaround."
The Wall Street Journal got a bit more of a demonstration and some background as well for the video below.