Microsoft will greatly improve its speech recognition technology inside the next Xbox, The Verge has learned. Sources familiar with Microsoft's Xbox plans have revealed that Durango, the codename for the next Xbox, will support wake on voice, natural language controls, and speech-to-text. The improved capabilities mean that Xbox users will be able to walk into a room and simply say "Xbox on" to wake up the new Xbox.

Natural speech recognition just like Siri

We understand that Microsoft is also investigating scenarios where a Kinect sensor will detect individuals in a room and suggest appropriate multiplayer games after a user queries the Xbox using voice. The support will include natural language detection, similar to Apple's Siri service, that will let users ask things like "what are my friends playing" to receive a friends list. Xbox will also reply back to users with answers to queries, making it an improved search service too. The current Xbox 360 console lacks natural interaction and context, we're told that's a big focus of the new speech recognition in the new Xbox.

Users will also be able to automatically resume video content where it left off simply by asking the new Xbox to play a particular movie. With speech-to-text built-in, it's likely that Microsoft will utilize this support to type out messages using the new Xbox. It's widely expected that Skype will make its Xbox debut on the new console. Microsoft will fully detail its new Xbox at E3 this year, with suggestions from sources that the company may hold a separate event to unveil its new hardware ahead of E3. The new Xbox is expected to be released later this year.