Nuance Bringing Voice Recognition to Televisions and Intel Ultrabooks

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With the popularity of Siri on the iPhone 4S and rumors of a voice-controlled Apple television set, voice recognition and control have leapt to the forefront of the technology industry as companies seek to revolutionize the way users interact with their devices. Nuance Communications has long been a leader in the the field of voice recognition, and quietly provides that back-end functionality for Siri and other Apple products.

Rumors of an Apple television set have centered around Siri voice control, fueled in no small part by Steve Jobs' comments to biographer Walter Isaacson regarding his idea for a television set interface being "the simplest user interface you could imagine". In seeking to open up some of that vision to a broad array of television manufacturers, Nuance today announced the launch of Dragon TV, a natural language recognition platform specifically tailored for the television experience.
Leveraging Nuance's voice and natural language understanding capabilities, Dragon TV creates the "lean-back experience" consumers demand, with the ability to easily find content by speaking channel numbers, station names, show and movie names. People can even search for content by actor and genre, and stay connected via Twitter, Facebook and Skype.
Nuance's list of commands understood by the platform also include requests for guide/schedule information and DVR playback control.

In addition to Nuance's push into television, the company today also announced the launch of a partnership with Intel to bring voice recognition technologies to the chipmaker's new "Ultrabook" platform for ultra-light notebook computers. While Nuance already offers a number of voice-related applications for PCs, the new partnership will reportedly deliver greater integration of the functionality for core system features.
Nuance's Dragon voice recognition technology, which is at the core of the renowned Dragon NaturallySpeaking software used by millions, will be deeply integrated into the new Intel application. Using this new capability, consumers will be able to control their Ultrabook just by using their voice. Consumers will be able to quickly and easily launch applications, play media, interact with social media sites and control their email and calendars with natural voice commands.
Additional details on the Ultrabook integration will be available later this year.

Article Link: Nuance Bringing Voice Recognition to Televisions and Intel Ultrabooks
 

WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68020
Jan 9, 2007
2,440
1,167
"Speaking channel numbers".

This is a great example of how technology companies fail to "get it". Does anyone really imagine Apple's TV/Siri integration will in any way involve "speaking channel numbers"?

The continued existence of concepts like channel numbers are what's wrong with TV, not the fact that you have to use your fingers to input them.
 

Rocketman

macrumors 603
Once again commoditizing bleeding edge technology like voice control, will require Apple to bring value added to the table in the form of a walled garden, legal content, exclusive content, and user interface advantages.

All at higher than normal industry margins only marginally decreasing overall market share in favor of dominant industry profit margins, a very successful business model.

In addition to that Apple will tie up bleeding edge hardware product lines for sufficient time to give them both first mover advantage and market saturation advantage (at their defined price points).

Leaving plenty of space for just slightly delayed, low margin mass adoption brands as usual.

Buy AAPL. Yes, even at this price. It is a double.

Rocketman
 

samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
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By all means knock Nuance. You know - the engine that is almost definitely behind Siri and other great software.
 

Momus

macrumors newbie
Jul 28, 2010
7
2
Surely now is the time for Apple to use its war chest and acquire Nuance? It's a piddly $8bn or so. Loose change for Apple
 

WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68020
Jan 9, 2007
2,440
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Also, voice DVR control? Those are functions that make a handheld remote a delight to use.

Have you ever tried to tell another human being to control a DVR to your satisfaction? "Rewind it! No, further! No, no! Too far!" If it's that hard to control via proxy through an intelligent human, imagine how much worse it will be with an AI.

For that to work, an entirely different paradigm is needed that doesn't involve traditional concepts of realtime rewind/fast forward/pause. A paradigm shift I'm not creative enough to think of, and one Nuance certainly isn't going to be bringing.
 

samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,637
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USA
Surely now is the time for Apple to use its war chest and acquire Nuance? It's a piddly $8bn or so. Loose change for Apple
Sorry to call out you specifically - but this is a pet peeve of mine on here. This seems to be the "go to answer" for posters. Really? Any time Apple runs into a company that competes or has something Apple might want/need/is developing they should just buy the company. I'm glad you're not running Apple.

And on the flip side - not every company is for sale. Some companies actually enjoy being - you know - their own company.
 

WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68020
Jan 9, 2007
2,440
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By all means knock Nuance. You know - the engine that is almost definitely behind Siri and other great software.
And a million really bad IVR phone systems.

Nuance is good at listening to words and putting ASCII representations of them into a buffer for developers to use. That's it. They know nothing about creating effective user interfaces. That's not their core competency.
 

netnothing

macrumors 68040
Mar 13, 2007
3,674
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Can't wait to be watching the first comedy to mess with everyone.

Can you just see Alec Baldwin saying on 30 Rock....."DVR, delete this program now".

:D

-Kevin
 

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
Apple: "Ok, guys. The way forward is safe now. Get in behind us, single file."

What else is new.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
What did they lead in this arena?
2011: Apple integrates a voice recognition program into its products that seems really cool, until you realize that it doesn't do what you ask it to most of the time, and in fact has the highest tendency to flake out on you at the most crucial times.

2012: Everyone else, except Microsoft, integrates a voice recognition program with a slightly less-cool name into their products that seems slightly less, but still fairly cool, until you realize it doesn't do what you ask it to most of the time, and in fact has the highest tendency to flake out on you at the most crucial times.

2013: Microsoft integrates a voice recognition program that is not at all cool into an oddly named new product with a mildly creepy marketing campaign. It doesn't seem cool at all, and no one expects it to do anything right any of the time, and so when it works occasionally, Microsoft receives high praise, but no one buys it except to put Linux on it.

2014: Apple pulls their cool-named product and replaces it with a highly complex and sophisticated device that resembles a remote control but uses complex motion sensing to avoid buttons while requiring a user motion identical to pushing a button, which seems really great until (a) the non-button does not work and (b) the rubber roller ball in it keeps getting dirty and has to be cleaned out constantly.

Etc.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,910
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St. Louis, MO
There are instances where speech control is not faster, and this is one of them. What's quicker, hitting the pause button, or hitting another button to activate voice control (much like you do with Siri) and then telling it to pause?

No thanks, I'll stick with my remote.
 

Momus

macrumors newbie
Jul 28, 2010
7
2
Sorry to call out you specifically - but this is a pet peeve of mine on here. This seems to be the "go to answer" for posters. Really? Any time Apple runs into a company that competes or has something Apple might want/need/is developing they should just buy the company. I'm glad you're not running Apple.

And on the flip side - not every company is for sale. Some companies actually enjoy being - you know - their own company.
Hey no problem - I know Nuance are involved in areas ouwith those which Apple might be specifically interested in, but the patent portfolio alone and talent/R+D pool would reinforce their position and make it doubly harder for the competition to catch up in this key area if they are 'locked out'. They could keep the bits they wanted and sell-off the rest. Why is that such a bad thing - Google are spending what, $12bn on Motorola for their patents effectively?
 

rjohnstone

macrumors 68040
Dec 28, 2007
3,494
3,471
PHX, AZ.
Yes, made it user friendly.
So people actually enjoy using it.

Regardless of who built it, at the end of the day, it's about user experience.
So Apple is leading in design (make it pretty)... big shocker.
But this topic is about VR, not the design.
Without Nuance, Siri doesn't exist.