Possible Samsung acquisition of Nuance seen as motivation to hasten next-generation engine
A new report claims that Apple has decided to form its own in-house speech recognition team to help create a future version of Siri, the company's popular virtual assistant. Motivation for this may have sprung from reports that Nuance, the company that currently powers the speech-recognition engine, was in talks with Samsung that may result in the Galaxy smartphone maker acquiring Nuance. Apple has been poaching employees of Nuance and recruiting others to build a complete speech team for quite some time, but new evidence has moved the story out of rumor status.
Geolocation used to improve service
Apple is currently seeking patent protection for technology that is designed to improve speech recognition through location awareness. A Thursday filing titled "Automatic input signal recognition using location based language modeling." describes a system that automatically associates voice input with location-specific language models and geographic information such as nearby businesses and street names.
Voice recognition first to benefit
Google will be using a neural network to work in its products. After creating software that can learn without the need for human guidance, Technology Review reports that the company will put its virtual brain "to work making Google's products smarter," with speech recognition to be the first to use it.
Both companies used same recognition engine
Nuance on Wednesday announced that it has acquired MacSpeech, the company behind the speech recognition software Dictate. The move will eventually bring Nuance's NaturallySpeaking software to the Mac platform as a native application, rather than requiring users to run the software via Boot Camp or a virtualization utility.
Components offer new connectivity options
Pioneer has expanded its line of vehicle products with several new receivers, a navigation system, and three amplifiers. The AVIC-X920BT navigation system features a new interface claimed to offer advanced features while reducing the number of layers required for operation. Users can navigate the menus directly from the 6.1-inch touchscreen, while speech recognition technology enables the system to be controlled without physical interaction.
New dictation app ships
MacSpeech has launched MacSpeech Dictate Medical, providing speech recognition and dictation software for medical professionals on the Mac platform. The software is designed specifically for medical and dental professionals and support staff, allowing dictation of text directly into applications and practice management systems. The software can issue numerous commands by voice, on the Macintosh, using an included, digitally enhanced USB headset/microphone. MacSpeech Dictate understands and supports vocabularies for more than 54 medical and dental disciplines and specialties, including general medicine, cardiology, dentistry, OB/GYN, pediatrics and others.
MacSpeech Dictate shipping
MacSpeech today announced that MacSpeech Dictate is now available for purchase directly from the company's website. In addition, potential customers can choose from a variety of specialized microphones, including desktop mounted ones or wireless versions. When purchased inside the United States, MacSpeech Dictate starts at $200 when purchased with a basic USB headset, while users can opt to pay $30 to $150 for a microphone more suitable to their needs.
MacSpeech today announced that its three-stage rollout of MacSpeech Dictate has begun, saying that pre-orders have shipped to iListen Founding Customers. MacSpeech's next objective is to ship crossgrades from customers who pre-ordered the product at MacWorld Expo, and then finally to various retail stores and resellers. In addition, MacSpeech also said that the application is available for pre-order from MacMall for customers in the US. MacSpeech Dictate is available for $200, featuring a choice of headsets.
iListen 1.8 for Leopard
MacSpeech on Fiday released iListen 1.8, an update to the speech recognition solution that brings Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard." iListen 1.8 includes new commands to support the new TextEdit and Finder in Mac OS X 10.5, and Safari 3. In addition, the company said that version 1.8 brings significant enhancements to the Voice Launcher -- some of which are Leopard-only features -- and to the Web Favorites command sets. The update is also a maintenance release that fixes reported issues and adds other refinements to the Mac speech recognition solution. iListen 1.8 is available free of charge to all registered of iListen 1.7 (and higher) from the Website.