updated 06:19 pm EDT, Tue May 22, 2012
Technology behind Siri comes to cars
Nuance, maker of the technology that partially powers Apple's Siri digital assistant, has announced that it is bringing its natural language technology to cars. Dragon Drive will allow drivers to compose text messages, get directions, and find traffic information by speaking to their cars. Nuance's voice-command technology is already featured in Ford's Sync application, but the company looks to bring the capability to a wider range of manufacturers with Dragon Drive.
The natural-language technology foregoes the keyword-based systems found in other voice-recognition technologies, allowing users to ask the system questions much in the way they would another person. With Dragon Drive, the car will be connected to Nuance's cloud-based processing systems, though some command processing will be done locally in the vehicle. Manufacturers can tailor the system to use a smartphone's Internet connection or a SIM card included in the vehicle.
Nuance has been integrating its speech technology with a number of other consumer products, including televisions, and the company recently bought a competitor, solidifying its standing in the voice-recognition field. Nuance has yet to reveal which manufacturers they are working with or what models to expect the technology in, but the company says that consumers will start seeing Dragon Drive featured in new models as early as this summer.