Tag - Speech recognition
Apple is planning to roll out a long-requested Siri SDK for developers at WWDC 16, reports The Information. The software package will finally allow developers to take advantage of Siri's natural speech recognition technology within their apps for the first time. Additionally, Apple is said to be looking to take Siri into the house, by building a speaker system that would compete with devices like Amazon's Echo. With Siri for Mac expected to debut at WWDC16, Siri looks to becoming increasingly pivotal in Apple's plans moving forward.
With Apple yet to bring its Siri virtual assistant across to the Mac, at least one developer has taken the opportunity to jump in with their own Mac-alternative. Stahl Labs has launched Awa, its new voice assistant for Mac, blending speech recognition and an artificial intelligence engine to accept natural-language voice commands. According to the developer, Awa is able to process and respond to voice commands in milliseconds.
SoundHound, a developer better known for its music recognition app, is taking on a market dominated by Google Voice Search, Siri, and Cortana. Hound is a voice-based search system that aims to differentiate itself from other similar services by focusing on improved speech recognition and language processing, taking into account the context and details of what is being asked instead of relying on spoken keywords.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE
French show carries on with iPhones
Following a prolonged power loss in a French TV studio, the crew was able to use a combination of limited studio lighting and a number of iPhones to continue taping the Saturday episode of talk show On n'est pas couché ("We're Still Awake"), using the resulting footage in the first edited episode. The Plus-model iPhones used for the impromptu shoot completion were either iPhone 6 Plusses (which shoot in 1080p) or 6s Plus models (which can shoot in 4K). The decision to use the iPhones to complete the show was made after a power outage at France 2's studio stretched to more than three hours. http://bit.ly/299wqDt
Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu