LAS VEGAS -- Here at CES 2012, LAPTOP Mag likes to be thorough. We caught up with Aaron Sheedy, Vice-President of Mobile Products at Nuance Communications (the eminent speech recognition company) to chat about new and upcoming projects the company has this year, including the recent release of their Dragon Go! search app for Android, a voice-controlled Dragon TV, and a partnership with Gracenote, which will bring even smarter dictation to users who search for music and videos on phones, tablets, apps, TVs and cars.
First up is the free Dragon Go! for Android. The original app was released on iOS last July, and now Nuance has brought the same powerful voice-activated search capabilities to Google's mobile OS. Users can utter phrases like "Watch an Elton John show for two tonight," and the app searches for the appropriate outlet—LiveNation, in this case— and pre-populates fields with the information you've spoken out loud. Did you mean to do a Google search instead of a ticket order? The app lets you access multiple results by placing tabs for different partners in a carousel stretched across the top of the screen. Swipe through and select the one you want—Google, Wikipedia, Pandora, etc.—and the app deposits the information it's already detected from your speech into the search. As Sheedy notes, Dragon Go! is unlike any other voice-controlled search app in that it doesn't keep you within the ecosystem—it constantly takes you out of it and into the best app that can answer your query for you, depending on the parameters you say.
Nuance also spoke about their new Dragon TV, a voice-controlled television. It lets users find content by speaking channel numbers, station names, show and movie names, and more. Designed to be completely intuitive, you can say things like "Find movies with Leonardo diCaprio," or "What’s on Bravo at 9 p.m. tonight?” and the software understands exactly what you mean and accomplishes the task for you. At the moment, there's limited availability—it's only out for device OEMs, operators and developers—but if you want to know more about the project (which is on track to come to consumers eventually), you can head over to www.nuancemobilelife.com.
And finally, there's the 10-year partnership with Gracenote. Nuance plans to leverage Gracenote's vast database of pop culture—phonetic transcriptions of artist names, albums and music genres, as well as movie and TV metadata—and integrate them into their upcoming technologies. Imagine driving along and telling your car, "Play me some Ke$ha." Typically, the '$' symbol in the artist's name would throw off algorithms designed to detect the music properly, but Nuance's, moving forward, won't. That's exciting. The company told us that they plan to continue reinventing their technology to occupy our phones, tablets, apps, TVs and cars. There's simply endless potential here.
To hear Sheedy talk about these projects and more—including the direction Nuance intends to take in the coming year—check out our full video interview below.