Alexa APIs allow developers access to Amazon voice recognition service
Amazon is allowing third-party developers and companies access to Alexa, the digital assistant included in the retailer's Echo network-connected speaker. As well as a collection of tools and APIs, Amazon is helping accelerate the push to make Alexa as useful as Siri and Google Voice Search by launching the Alexa Fund, a scheme where it will offer up to $100 million in investments to support developers and start-ups making use of the software and the technology.
Deeply impressive dictation and voice recognition
Do not ever give voice recognition software to a writer who's a keyboard junkie. Do not ever give Dragon Dictate to any one who saw how rubbish dictation software was in the 1980s, 1990s and probably 2000s but they didn't check. For a few minutes sitting in front of Dragon Dictate will destroy their worldview like a politician discovering that encryption makes monitoring computers hard. Dragon Dictate works and it works extremely, just extremely well. It also does more than dictation: this is powerful software for word processing by voice command.
Voice recognition tools, virtual assistant platform bought by Intel
Intel has acquired a selection of assets and staff from Ginger Software, a company based in Israel working in natural language processing. The purchase, thought to be worth up to $30 million, will allow Intel to push into the virtual assistant market, as well as bolstering its existing voice recognition projects, such as its Jarvis smart headset.
On-processor voice recognition offered by Intel to smartphone manufacturers
Intel's wearable computing efforts will attempt to trump other voice recognition systems from Apple and Google by using offline processing, it has revealed. Rather than taking advantage of the cloud infrastructure, Intel plans to include voice recognition software from a third-party company on the Intel mobile processor itself, in order to quickly understand a verbal request without connecting to the Internet.
Thermostat responds to verbal requests to raise, lower temperature
Honeywell has introduced a new version of its Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat that can be operated hands-free using voice commands. The Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat with Voice Control is able to understand when the homeowner is speaking to it and to follow verbal instructions, thanks to its cloud-based voice recognition system.
Voice recognition app turns speech to text
Nuance Communications has introduced Dragon Dictation for the iPhone, its latest program that enables users to speak both e-mails and text messages without the need for typing. The program uses the Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech recognition technology that is said to support users talking at speeds up to five times faster than regular typing, and allows them to speak anything from single-lined text messages to status updates for Facebook, or even something as long as multi-paragraph e-mails.
Vocalia 1.4 launches
Creaceed has launched a new update to its voice recognition iPhone app, Vocalia 1.4, adding support for German language recognition and a German interface. Vocalia searches Address Book contacts via speech recognition, using the Julius engine for multi-locutor, speech recognition, supporting up to 5000 contacts. It recognizes a spoken name and brings up a list of possible matches, allowing the user to pick the contact from a short list, placing a call. In addition to German, the app supports English and French languages.