Apple… It’s about time! June 9th, 2009
OK, I guess I have to blog about Apple’s new iPhone 3GS and the new Voice Control feature. Yeah it’s a big deal. My main comment…It’s about time!
A lot of people and reviewers complained that speech recognition was missing when the iPhone first shipped. I repeatedly heard through the grapevine that “Steve doesn’t like recognition”. Then miraculously, 20 or 30 different voice dialers and various other voice recognition applications appeared in the Apps store. I tried a few and they all worked pretty well. My favorite is NameDial by VoiceActivation (which uses Sensory technology of course!)
For a long time Nuance was rumored to be swinging some kind of deal with Apple, and I guess they did. I haven’t seen the Nuance name mentioned yet, but with 30 different languages supported, I’m very confident Nuance is there behind the scenes…probably not making much money, if I know Apple!
It’s definitely an embedded engine too. If you listen to the demo of the TTS (text-to-speech), you can hear it’s embedded (i.e. not as good as a server based TTS system would allow); it even sounds kind of like a Nuance voice.
So why did I say it’s a big deal??? Voice dialing is old hat, but doing music search is pretty novel. I’ve only known of a couple other MP3 player apps that use speech recognition embedded into the devices.
Today Sensory announced its Truly Hands-Free technology for trigger type phrase spotting. It allows a product to activated solely by voice, with no button pressing necessary. We developed it to go with our BlueGenie car kits so drivers wouldn’t need to be distracted, but maybe Apple wants to license it to run with their new Voice Control!
Hey Steve – Wanna go Hands-Free?