Researchers from IBM have demonstrated new breakthroughs in the company's speech recognition technology.

Of particular interest is a collaboration between IBM, partner group Avoca Semiconductor and All Media Guide to provide much-improved voice control and search functions on multimedia devices.

The know-how is included within its latest-generation voice-recognition software and was demonstrated at IBM's Speech Technology Innovation Day in New York. In theory, says IBM, you could download your favourite MP3 tracks to your mobile phone simply by asking for them.

"Through collaborations with our partners, speech technology has become ubiquitous and is transforming the way we work and access information by making it available, literally, for the asking," said David Nahamoo, chief technology officer for speech technology at IBM Research.