When one man was struck by a debilitating disease this past year, the doctors treating him weren’t his sole team of care-givers. Confined to a bed, the man also found life-saving capabilities in self-service mobile developer Nuance (News - Alert).
Thanks to Nuance’s Dragon speech recognition software, the man found comfort in his ability to communicate with family members, whom would talk into the application on his wife’s smartphone to capture their thoughts and well-wishes.
“You saved my life because I was suddenly in contact with my family,” he told Nuance company officials at the time.
Not only did Vlad Sejnoha, chief technology officer of Nuance’s mobile division, share this touching story with TMCnet at SpeechTEK (News - Alert) in New York City this week, but he also elaborated on how the rapid growth of mobility is driving the need for applications like Dragon in the industry, and what rather surprising market the company will foray into next.
Nuance boasts a robust and extensive portfolio of speech recognition tools for an array of industries, from education and finance to healthcare and insurance, that can be used on both standard PC and mobile products. The company has quickly risen to a leading global provider of speech and imaging technologies that are helping companies and individuals work more intelligently.
As a provider of speech technology and text and keyword tracing solutions, Nuance has thus built a variety of solutions for a number of different markets, focusing primarily on the traditional mobile area. In fact, most recently, the company introduced its Dragon Go! application, a natural language search app that lets the common consumer speak what they’re looking for.
Dragon Go!, which is free and supports over 180 content providers, has the ability to predict a user's intent and “arranges it into a nice carousel,” explained Sejnoha. It then displays side-by-side results from various content sources ranging from search engines to shopping sites and music sites.
“We want to make it easier for you to go to your favorite site or app, and then interact in the way you're accustomed to,” Sejnoha said in a previous statement, as reported by TMC (News - Alert).
While Dragon Go! is the perfect tool for the everyday shopping or navigation experience, a new spotlight on the dangers of texting and driving has redirected the company’s focus to the automotive sector – where the company is now developing a speech-only interface that will enable drivers to dictate to a device while behind the wheel.
“We are going to be seeing texting by voice in a car in the coming years,” Sejnoha told TMC, adding that the company is currently running experiments, such as lane-change tests, to measure the impact of the developing solution.
Healthcare has become a rich growth area for the company, said Sejnoha, who explained that demanding and time-consuming medical practices, like clinical documentation, have given birth to a need for speech recognition.
“There is a massive problem to be solved in documentation, but now we can convert it into a more usable and sharable form,” said Sejnoha. “Rather than hand-written notes, doctors can have a database with patient history and look up things like drug allergies. It’s really huge, and it’s growing really fast.”
Another area heating up, said Sejnoha, is the development of tools for understanding structured content, like that found in policy manuals. While it’s impossible to answer questions from the abundance of information found in these documents, new technology will be able to process that data so users can be pointed to a particular section of a document. As this starts to come to market, Sejnoha said he believes it will have a “profound effect on how people can access information and what they can do with devices.”
In the next few years, Nuance plans on continuing to make speech recognition more robust, text-to-speech more natural, and inflections more suited to the meaning of passage, said Sejnoha. With more and more consumers interacting with different devices, there will be indefinitely be a need for Nuance to more deeply explore opportunities in application concepts.
“We’re waiting for this wave to come,” said Sejnoha. “It’s big.”
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Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet web editor. She covers a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin