Gates: Voice recognition is the next big thing

And MS man reiterates Foundation focus

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Bill Gates has once again insisted that the next big thing is speech and voice recognition.

The Microsoft founder is currently touring to highlight his charitable foundation, The Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation.

Since stepping away from day-to-day control of Microsoft, Gates has dedicated much of his life (and a good proportion of his money) to battling against malaria in Africa, enhancing healthcare and the reduction of extreme poverty.

But Gates has not entirely given up on trying to change the world's technology and he is currently pushing the message that speech and voice recognition is a key area.

Kinect the dots

"The next big thing is definitely speech and voice recognition," Gates told the Daily Mail.

"You'll be able to touch [a white] board or speak to it and get your message to colleagues around the world. Screens are cheap."

Of course, one of Microsoft's key new products (and an instant hit) is the Kinect for Xbox 360, which includes the capacity to recognise speech.

Gates also reiterated that he would not be returning to the helm at Microsoft, a rumour that has persisted of late.

"My full-time work for the rest of my life is this foundation," he added. "I'm part-time involved [in Microsoft]. But this is my job now."