Nuance Communications, one of the biggest names in speech recognition, might be heading to the highest bidder before long. The Wall Street Journal reports that Nuance has been in talks with potential suitors as the company seeks a sale. According to sources familiar with the company, Samsung as well as several private-equity firms have been part of this discussion. More →
Nuance announced at CES 2014 partnerships with many PC and tablet makers to bring its Dragon Assistant technology to future computers that will thus receive built-in always on listening powers. “Our objective working with Intel was to bring the PC into the era that tablets have been enjoying with the launch of [Apple’s] Siri over the past few years,” Nuance vice president and general manager of Dragon Devices told PC World. This year, the company has confirmed “the realization” of the Dragon Assistant project, which was first announced at CES 2012. More →
Nuance has been steadily adding new capabilities to its Dragon Mobile Assistant application to help it compete with services such as Siri and Google Now, and its latest release of the software looks to be its most extensive update yet. Nuance on Tuesday launched Dragon Mobile Assistant 4.0, which features voice-enabled email composition, voice notifications that read you incoming text messages, emails, phone calls and Facebook status updates, and an intelligent Driver Mode that automatically turns on your device’s hands-free features when you enter a car. The new version of Dragon Mobile Assistant is available now on Google Play for Android devices that have Android 2.3 Gingerbread or higher. Nuance’s full press release is posted below. More →
What could be more annoying than overly intrusive mobile ads that take up excessive space on your display? How about intrusive mobile ads that are capable of talking to you. AllThingsD reports that speech recognition software company Nuance Communications (NUAN), which is best known for its Dragon NaturallySpeaking software, is announcing a new initiative aimed at bringing Siri-style voice recognition technology to mobile ads. According to AllThingsD, Nuance is conducting the venture with several “advertising agencies, ad networks and publishers” to determine whether “ads that feature voice interaction might prove more engaging and effective than traditional banner ads.” More →
The torturous days when smartphone users suffered through having to push buttons to wake up their smartphones may soon be over. MIT’s Technology Review blog reports that speech recognition software company Nuance Communications (NUAN), which is best known for its Dragon NaturallySpeaking software, is developing technology that would let users wake their sleeping smartphones just by speaking to them. Specifically, Technology Review says that Nuance is working with “a number of” chip manufacturers to design a chipset that wakes smartphones up instantly upon hearing voice commands. The company’s goal is to have some version of the technology available in “a year or two.” More →
Nuance Communications (NUAN) has made some big-time improvements to its popular Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice recognition software, including improved performance on Gmail and Hotmail and a new Android app that lets customers use their Android device as a remote microphone for the PC app. The new NaturallySpeaking 12 release, available on August 3rd for $99.99, promises 20% improved voice recognition accuracy over the previous NaturallySpeaking release, a Siri-esque Smart Format feature that adapts to users’ individual speech patterns, and a new version of the Dragon Remote Microphone app that is now compatible with Android. More →
Nuance announced on Tuesday that it plans to acquire Vlingo, a voice-to-text and voice recognition technology firm that was once the subject of a Nuance lawsuit. Nuance senior manager Mike Thompson said the decision was made after his company realized there’s a $5 billion market opportunity as demand increases for voice engine products such as Apple’s Siri voice engine, which is powered in part by Nuance technology. “Inspired by the introduction of services such as Apple’s Siri and our own Dragon Go!, virtually every mobile and consumer electronics company on the planet is looking for ways to integrate natural, conversational voice interactions into their mobile products, applications, and services,” Mike Thompson, Senior Vice President and General Manager, of Nuance Mobile said. “By acquiring Vlingo, we are able to accelerate the pace of innovation to meet this demand.” The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Nuance’s full press release follows after the break.
As rumored, Apple just took the wraps off the fruits of its Siri acquisition and it’s called… “Siri.” The feature enables you to interact with your device much as you would with a human assistant; you can speak to your phone naturally and it will perform as a personal assistant. Apple demonstrated different voice tasks during its press conference on Tuesday, such as asking what the weather is like today, or do I need a raincoat today? More voice tasks? Wake me up at 6AM tomorrow and Siri will set your phone alarm. What’s the time in Paris? How’s the stock market doing today? Find me an italian restaurant in New York? Give me directions to a location? Siri will even read your text and email messages to you. Siri will become available to the public when iOS 5 launches on October 12th.
We’ve heard rumors that Apple will a include Siri-powered “Assistant” voice command option ahead of the official iOS 5 launch, and now 9to5Mac has learned that Apple will also add Nuance-powered speech-to-text functionality. As the screenshots show, users will simply need to tap the microphone button next to the space bar in order to activate the feature. When active, a larger microphone image will pop up to alert the user to begin speaking. The functionality is similar to what’s already available on Android smartphones and we hope it performs just as well. Hopefully we’ll see text-to-speech implemented in an upcoming iOS 5 beta build, otherwise we’ll have to wait until September when the official public release hits. Read on for a second screen shot. More →
Nuance has just released an updated version of its free Dragon Dictation application for the iPhone and iPad that brings typeless social networking to the iPhone OS and iOS-using masses. In addition to the previous SMS and email support, Dragon Dictation 2.0 now allows you to post to twitter or update your status on Facebook merely by speaking to your mobile device. The latest version also pastes your dictated text directly into the device’s clipboard and can auto-save text when a phone call interrupts your oh-so-important dictation. So Dragon Dictation users, rest those fingers and start talk tweeting… we all know how difficult it is to type 140 characters. More →
Burlington, Mass-based company, Nuance, is bringing its duo of popular speech recognition software to customers in the UK. Nuance’s popular Dragon Search and Dragon Dictation have been submitted to Apple’s App Store and are awaiting approval for distribution in the UK. Both titles are currently available for free in the US and boast of combined downloads that approach 37 million. Dragon Search gives Android’s voice-to-text search a run for its money by providing iPhone owners with the ability to query popular search engines and social networks with their voice. Nuance’s other title, Dragon Dictation, brings dictation capabilities to Apple’s iOS platform and has been very well received. If all goes as expected, the two Nuance software titles should appear in the UK App Store soon. More →
Google announced on Tuesday a new iPhone application that allows you to make location based searches just by speaking a question into your iPhone. Your spoken question, “Where is the nearest Best Buy?” for example, is sent to Google’s server as a digital file and processed by Google’s server side voice recognition software. The converted query is then forwarded to Google’s search engine and the results are sent back to the handset, supposedly within seconds. Excellent! This is not a new concept as Microsoft already has its TellMe service, Yahoo has OneSearch and Nuance is in the process of developing its own Open Voice Search. What is interesting is Google’s choice of the iPhone and not Android for its launch platform which combines the iPhone, currently still the best selling handset in the US, with the world’s most popular search engine. Talk about bringing voice search to a large audience. The Google Mobile App with the new voice search is available now from the App store. Just to warn you, the voice search only supports U.S. English and only works with the iPhone. Sorry iPod Touch users, you need a microphone for this to work! If any of you iPhone owners out there test out the new Google voice search, give us a shout in the comments and let us know how it works for you. Hit the jump for a Google Video explaining the service.