Weighing in on Nuance’s (News - Alert) purchase of Swype, which makes add-on keyboards for smartphones, Venture Beat pronounces that the move is “finally beginning to pay off with the introduction of Nuance’s Dragon voice recognition on the latest Swype Android (News - Alert) app.”
Shortly before Christmas, TMC’s Monica Glebeman reported that “Nuance Communications (News - Alert) has recently begun providing access to its Dragon Naturally Speaking software development kit (SDK) to mobile developers seeking to build apps for the iOS and Android platforms. With the SDK, developers will be able to integrate speech recognition capabilities into their mobile applications and/or create speech-aware apps.”
Swype’s software keyboard lets you swipe to type text, instead of hunting and pecking virtual keys, Venture Beat explains, adding that with its latest update, “Swype has replaced Google’s built-in voice recognition for Nuance’s Dragon Dictate technology.”
And it will most likely be far more accurate than Google’s offering, Venture Beat thinks, pointing to the years it spent in development, and the fact that Dragon “also powers the dictation capabilities in Apple’s (News - Alert) Siri virtual assistant.”
As Gleberman noted, “Despite an increasingly wide range of virtual keyboard apps, Swype remains a popular option for many Android users, primarily because of its baked-in status on a wide variety of high-profile phones and tablets.”
Nuance is on a bit of buying spree these days, having also announced that it will acquire its voice recognition competitor Vlingo. Venture Beat approved the move, saying it “could lead to some massive improvements in its dictation software down the line.”
"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," said Mike Thompson, senior vice president and general manager for Nuance Mobile at the time of the Vlingo purchase. "By acquiring Vlingo, we are able to accelerate the pace of innovation."
Both companies said consumer demand for intelligent voice interfaces has created a $5 billion market opportunity.
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David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Juliana Kenny