By Christian Zibreg on May 30, 2016
The assistant wars are in full swing, with Google Assistant and Viv entering the fray and existing players such as Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Hound and Google’s Now all stepping up fight for consumers’ hearts and minds.
Apple’s rumored Amazon Echo competitor, which VentureBeat believes is a next-gen Apple TV, could blow all the assistants out of the water when it comes to deciphering complex natural language queries.
And powering it—VocalIQ, a sophisticate technology Apple acquired back in October 2015. Tech Insider provided an in-depth overview of how VocalIQ could make Siri a lot smarter than it is today. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Aug 17, 2014
OS X includes a nifty Dictation feature which allows you to control your Mac and apps with your voice. You can use “speakable items”, basically a set of spoken commands, to open apps, choose menu items, email contacts and convert whole spoken sentences to text, wherever you can type text.
This is much like iOS’s Dictation feature as both iOS and OS X use the same Nuance-powered technology that turns speech to text. iOS devices have limited computing power so the Dictation feature on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad requires network connectivity in iOS 7 (iOS 8 supports streaming voice recognition and 22 new languages).
On the Mac, computing resources like CPU power, battery life and RAM are not of paramount importance as on mobile, Therefore, OS X Mavericks provides a new Enhanced Dictation feature which converts your words to text without utilizing Apple’s servers.
In other words, server-based Dictation lets you dictate without an active Internet connection. Because voice recognition processing runs locally on your Mac, text appears instantly as you speak. That is: continuos, streaming dictation with live feedback is made possible.
In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to turn on Enhanced Dictation in OS X and take advantage of speech-to-text, even when you’re off the grid… Read More
By Jake Smith on Apr 17, 2014
Siri within iOS 7 can be limited sometimes, thanks to Apple’s “walled garden”, but a new tool called GoogolPlex wants to change that by opening the voice assistant to new commands.
Self described as the “App Store for Siri”, GoogolPlex opens Siri to work with Spotify, Philips Hue, the Nest Thermostat and more, just by an iOS user changing a few proxy settings… Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 12, 2013
Facebook has announced this afternoon that it has acquired Mobile Technologies, a private company that develops speech recognition and machine translation technology. The move reiterates the social network’s commitment to its mobile strategy.
Honestly, I hadn’t heard of the company before today. But some quick digging shows that Mobile Technologies is behind the popular Jibbigo translation app, which the developers claim is the “world’s first” online/offline speech-to-speech translator… Read More
By Cody Lee on May 30, 2013
In the months leading up to 2011’s WWDC event, there were numerous reports that Apple would announce a major partnership with voice recognition giant Nuance. Obviously, the gossip never materialized, and Apple didn’t even end up unveiling Siri until that fall.
But despite the fact that no one has ever come out and said it, Nuance has long been given credit for powering Siri’s speech recognition capabilities. And today, the company’s CEO Paul Ricci confirmed the theory while speaking at AllThingsD’s D11 conference… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Aug 13, 2012
Upcoming smartphones from Motorola Mobility, now a Google-owned entity, will be able to determine who is in a room by employing some pretty advanced voice recognition techniques. Under Google’s stewardship, the company has seen its management team reshuffled as forty percent of Motorola’s vice presidents left the company following the $12.5 billion acquisition.
And because Motorola has been losing money in 14 of its last 16 quarters, Google’s latest measures to achieve “sustainable profitability” for Motorola include cutting one-fifth of its global workforce. That amounts to about 4,000 people, a third from U.S. operations.
Furthermore, Google will be slimming down Motorola’s portfolio of devices to focus on a dozen or so flagship phones, it will close a third of Motorola’s 94 offices worldwide, dial down the handset maker’s operations in Asia and India and reduce its R&D expenditure in Chicago, Sunnyvale and Beijing… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jun 27, 2012
Apple kicked off this month with its WWDC keynote, unveiling the next version of its mobile operating system: iOS 6. Then Microsoft quickly followed with its Windows Phone 8 announcement. And now it’s Google’s turn.
Google’s I/O keynote is already underway this morning, and the search giant just unveiled its next version of its mobile platform Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). The update features a Siri competitor, UI enhancements, and more… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jun 5, 2012
Nuance, the natural voice processing engine that powers voice recognition in Apple’s Siri digital assistant, recently announced the Drive! platform, basically the Siri for cars.
Today, the company announced another natural-language solution, one that lets you unlock your phone just by using your voice. Introducing Dragon ID, a brand new technology tapping your voiceprint to let the device know who you are by the sound of your voice.
Count us excited! We’re totally big on Nuance’s voice unlock possibly debuting on the next iPhone so we can all finally kiss cryptic passwords goodbye. Here’s a video of Nuance Dragon ID in action… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 25, 2012
The Verge was first out of the gate today with its exhaustive review of Samsung’s Galaxy S III handset. A section of the piece provides an interesting side-by-side comparison of two intelligent personal assistants, Siri on the iPhone 4S and Samsung’s darling dubbed S-Voice.
Both features work as advertised (well, most of the time), amuse with canned responses, delight with factual answers – all the while letting you converse with your handset using natural language rather than remember a bunch of hard-coded commands.
Siri and S-Voice also score similarly in handling common tasks such as pulling local weather, creating appointments and reminders and what not. And of course S-Voice is a blatant rip off of Siri’s user interface. Apple’s digital secretary appears to be snappier at running queries and S-Voice at times has a hard time understanding what you want.
And here’s a nice side-by-side comparison video laying it all out for you… Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 27, 2012
It looks as if things are becoming quite crowded and heated in the “virtual assistant” space.
A recent TechCrunch report says that Apple is planning to remove Evi from the App Store because it violates Apple’s terms and conditions.
The violation? Evi is too similar to Siri… Read More