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IVR - First Siri, Now Nina - How Nuance's Voice Recognition Tech is Trying to Take over Your Phone
IVR
August 07, 2012

First Siri, Now Nina - How Nuance's Voice Recognition Tech is Trying to Take over Your Phone



By Allison Boccamazzo, TMCnet Web Editor

Nuance (News - Alert) has been in the limelight lately for its powerful voice recognition technology that powers the infamous Siri, as well as some smart TVs and even cars. The company introduced yesterday its latest technological addition – Nina – a virtual speech assistant which can now be added to a company or consumer’s iOS and/or Android (News - Alert) mobile apps.


By combining its signature speech recognition tech with its text-to-speech (TTS) software, Nina can be found on a single offering which is hosted via cloud servers. The technology works similarly to its predecessor in that it is designed to understand what the user is saying and to identify who is saying it, Nuance explained.


Above, a video depicting a user verbally requesting a checkbook balance, then authorizing payments for bills (Notice how the machine voice responds to tell them that the payment has been submitted).


Many have been eagerly awaiting Nina’s arrival, such as USAA, a provider of financial services for US military members, who said in a statement that it plans to integrate Nina into its USAA mobile app. Nina will ultimately work to enable organizations everywhere to brand their own virtual assistant with custom TTS voices, Nuance said.

Customers have little but groused about both Nuance and its ingenious technology, as reflected in the company’s Q3 earnings report released today. Nuance demolished Wall Street expectations, whose revenue rose by 42.2 percent in one single quarter. It’s more than clear that both the demand for voice applications and the technology itself are here to stay.

As the demand for Nuance’s voice applications grow, the company has undoubtedly made its mark, but it seems this may not be enough for the quickly growing powerhouse. In fact, the company has its eyes set on having its software power each and every app you use.

The idea doesn’t seem too far-fetched, either. Earlier this summer, Nuance’s newly announced Dragon ID software changed the face of consumer security as we know it, where users no longer had to manually input passwords but could rather access private or locked information based on the distinctive features in his or her speech which is recognized, explains a Gizmodo article.

“Combine that with a phone-wide ability to control apps with your voice, and you’re in the future,” Gizmodo continues. “Want to pay a bill? Nuance’s software knows it’s you speaking so [it] can log into your banking app for you and make a transfer. Want to buy something from Amazon? Shout at your handset and one-click purchasing is just a sentence away.”

While voice technology – just like any evolving technological innovation – still has some ways to go, this is turning consumer mobile interaction upside down, transforming everything we thought we knew by simply using our voice.

Nina includes an open software developer kit (SDK) designed to help developers integrate virtual assistants into existing mobile apps. Both the SDK and the Nuance hosted cloud service are currently only available in English, but will be expanded upon to accommodate more languages later this year.

Now on to the next big question: How will Nina do when thrown in the ring with Apple’s (News - Alert) Siri voice assistant program? This should certainly be interesting to watch unfold!

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO click here.

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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli










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