Voice Recognition

Turn iMessage, WhatsApp, and Line voice messages into text with Textify

Sending your friends voice recordings on messenger platforms such as iMessage, WhatsApp or Threema is surely not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s hard to overlook its rising popularity in certain circles. Be it for faster communications or text weariness amongst younger people, voice messages are rife in chats today and that is despite the one clear downside they have: unlike texts, they are not very discreet, which makes them basically unobtainable in a host of potential situations.

Understanding the (circumstantial) issues with voice messages, Apple were the first to offer voicemail transcriptions in iOS 10 and now Textify joins the cause to bring a similar service to an even wider audience. The speech recognition app provides spoken word-to-text transcriptions for all your favorite messenger platforms including iMessage, WhatsApp, Threema, and Line. And suffice it to say that it wouldn’t be on iDB if it was not surprisingly powerful at that. Here’s how it works.

How Apple’s advanced self-learning technologies could make Siri a lot smarter

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. 

How to enable Enhanced Dictation in OS X for streaming speech-to-text with live feedback

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…

GoogolPlex will ‘unleash the power of Siri’ with Nest, Philips Hue, Spotify commands

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…

Facebook acquires speech recognition firm Mobile Technologies

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…

CEO confirms Siri uses Nuance voice recognition tech

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…

Future Motorola phones will recognize who is in a room based on their voices

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…

Google unveils Android 4.1, complete with Siri competitor and more

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…

Nuance launches Dragon ID: phone unlock using your larynx

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…

Apple’s Siri and Samsung’s S-Voice go head to head (video)

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…

Will Apple kill Evi over Siri? [Updated]

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…