Mock-up shows off iOS 5 ‘Assistant’ voice controls [video]

September 30th at 6:30 PM

Mock-up shows off iOS 5 ‘Assistant’ voice controls [video]

Apple’s Siri and Nuance-powered “Assistant” voice control feature expected to launch with iOS 5 has hardly been a secret, and now MacRumors has commissioned a video mock-up of the service based on what we know so far. The video shows, for example, that a user might be able to hold down the home button to activate the application and speak a command, not unlike Apple’s simple voice controls today. Assistant should step today’s capabilities up quite a bit, however. The service will likely scour your phone’s contents or the web to deliver results, and it may even be capable of replying to you; in the MacRumors video, Assistant asks the user if he would like to text a contact’s mobile or work number. We expect to hear more about Assistant during Apple’s iPhone event on October 4th. Read on for the full video. More →


Mercedes 2010 E-Class: technology evolved

October 26th at 6:57 PM

Mercedes 2010 E-Class: technology evolved


Recently I visited Mercedes-Benz’s headquarters in Montvale, NJ to see their all-new 2010 E-Class vehicles. You might be thinking we’re pulling an Autoblog, but we’re not. If you knew the amount of technology and engineering in the new E-Class… well, you’re actually about to.

When you begin to look at how much effort, planning, design, testing, and money goes into creating a line of cars, you realize it’s not an easy task. Forget about competition from other manufacturers, just hearing and seeing the process of how it’s done was an incredible experience for me. We’re going to focus on just some of the technological features in the E-Class which is more than we could ever imagine, so once you add that in with every other component in a car, it’s really amazing. I was lucky enough to get a whole sense of how the process works and how it’s executed. I also test drove two 2010 E-Class vehicles, the E550 Coupe and the E63 AMG Sedan. Read on for my experience and an overview of some of the amazing stuff in the E-Class.

Disclosure: Mercedes-Benz North America is a past and present advertiser on BGR.

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Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile may be planning Nuance Open Voice Search enabled handsets

October 23rd at 10:21 AM

Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile may be planning Nuance Open Voice Search enabled handsets

Nuance, the company behind Dragon Naturally Speaking, is developing a new mobile product called Open Voice Search. Similar to Vlingo and Microsoft’s TellMe, Open Voice Search allows users to interact with their phone through voice commands. This isn’t the archaic “Say a Command” voice commands that we know and love. In one application of the technology, Open Voice Search allows users to search the Internet by speaking into their phone. The Open Voice Search program transmits the spoken phrase to Nuance’s voice recognition servers which, in turn, translate the voice signal into text. The text string is submitted to an unnamed search engine (Google?) and the search results are then sent back to the handset as a list of web results. Excellent! Nuance recently demoed its new technology with two unreleased handsets, one for T-Mobile and one for Verizon Wireless. In the T-Mobile demonstration, a Samsung handset was used to access Madonna ringtones via voice commands while the Verizon Wireless handset utilized spoken commands to retrieve driving directions from VZ Navigator. Nuance would not confirm contracts with either carrier but it probably wouldn’t be demoing technology on a carrier-branded handset if there wasn’t some type of agreement at least in the works. Consider the demo an indirect announcement of some slick new handsets that will, in some shape and form, integrate this Open Voice Search technology.

[via RCR Wireless]