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...
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, 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...
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...
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...
Didn't we tell you? The floodgates are opening for Siri tweaks now that the iPhone 4S jailbreak is available.
OpenSiri is among the Siri tweak freshman class, and it allows you to launch stock Apple apps, plus Facebook and Twitter apps using nothing but your voice.
Check out our hands-on video of OpenSiri in action...
The potential is startling. Once you play with Hands-Free Control in a true Siri environment on the iPhone 4S, it really hits you how much potential jailbreaking adds to Siri. Truly, the sky's the limit here as far as voice recognition and the like are concerned.
Imagine laying in bed with your iPhone half-way across the room. Problem: You forgot to set the alarm. Actually, no problem at all. With Hands-Free Control, Siri is always at your beckoning call...
It looks like Spotify CEO Daniel Ek is a self proclaimed "Siri-holic" after the streaming outfit's head man waxed lyrical about his love for Apple's digital assistant.
But that's not all. During an interview for Forbes, Ek gave a sneak peek at a potential new feature that could be on its way to the Spotify iPhone app at some point in the future. When asked about the possibility of voice activation coming to Spotify, Ek picked up his iPhone and requested a dose of Coldplay.
Naturally the handset obliged, though God only knows why Ek wanted to hear Coldplay at all. Regardless, the news that Spotify is working on voice recognition will come as a late Christmas present for fans of the streaming music service...
In a world where we all stare at our iPhone screens while walking around in public, Apple is working on the next-generation of mobile computing: wearable technology. The latest iPod nano can be worn as a watch, but that's only the beginning of what Apple has in development.
The New York Times has revealed some of Apple's internal plans for wearable computing. The company is working on a Siri-controlled experience that interfaces with the iPhone. Apple employees have reportedly already started testing such devices.
It's not Siri. In fact, it's not even close. Yet, you still may find it interesting enough to give it a shot, especially if you're already a user of Voice Activator.
Automatic Dictation is essentially a meshing together of Voice Activator and Dragon Dictation. It basically allows you to (almost) use Dragon Dictation completely handsfree. It even allows you to send tweets directly from your dictation screen.
In the end, it's a very clunky semi-hand-free solution that works, but it's definitely no Siri...
We've seen Siri do everything from turn on a fireplace to control a TV set, so there's not much that Apple's digital assistant can do at this point that would surprise us. But all of these tricks require use of the Siri Proxy.
What about the average user that probably hasn't installed the proxy? Well, there's still Wolfram Alpha. The database allows you to do a number of things with Apple's new handset, and it just added another cool feature.
Google is reportedly working on its own version of Siri for upcoming Android devices. The project has been given the internal codename of "Majel" (a reference to Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, the Federation Computer from Star Trek) and is meant to be an evolution of the current voice recognition technology in Android, Voice Actions.
Siri is by far the iPhone 4S's hottest feature, and Apple has used marketing to put itself in the lead once again with the rest of the industry now forced to play catch-up. Will Google's upcoming assistant be the competition that Siri needs?