The Star Trek: Bridge Crew VR experience is coming at the end of this month, and while players will be immersed in the Star Trek universe - and even on the bridge of the original Enterprise - developer Red Storm still flet something was missing. You can't be a captain or an officer without issuing verbal orders, so IBM has gotten involved.
Red Storm will be using IBM's new "VR Speech Sandbox," which consumers have seen in commercials as Watson. The technology just became available in dev kits, and includes three components: IBM's Watson Unity SDK, Watson Speech to Text and Watson Conversation. The three will allow Red Storm to make the VR experience more believable, especially for Star Trek fans.
“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 in a statement. “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."
Unfortunately, it will not be available when the game launches on May 30, but should be ready for beta testing soon after. The mind-meld between the VR and speech programs should definitely add a special layer of immersion for wannabe Kirks, Janeways and Picards.