We almost don’t pay attention to what is happening when we give voice commands to our smartphone like “What’s the weather like today?”, “How is my schedule?”, “Play songs by Bruce Springsteen?”, “Turn on Wi-Fi” and what not. It doesn’t matter whether you are an Android user, an iPhone user or even a Windows Phone user, your ‘personal assistant’ is there with you all the time and what you need is a little sentence to control. But when the application opens up, the voice control is gone and you have to use touch to now interact with the application.
Nuance is now changing that too. It is the same company behind the Samsung’s S voice and Apple’s Siri. Nuance is now allowing the developers to build custom voice controls to integrate them in their application so that the user can for example from the Facebook application ask to “Update my status”, “I want to update my check in”, “Upload all photos from the trip to Vegas”, etc. and the application will use its inbuilt functionality to do the language understanding and do as directed. Nuance is calling this feature as Nuance Mix.
The developers will be able to produce 15-20 different samples of doing a task in the form of natural language and Nuance Mix will develop its learning algorithm based on the inputs provided which will transform the natural language into the computer oriented signals and hence will complete the task. Nuance Mix will provide the developers simple voice recognition to their applications. The functionality is not limited to the applications only.
Nuance Mix can also be applied to the hardware and this is where it gets really exciting. When we look at the home device control applications that control the various hardware take for example Philips’s Hue light bulbs, an app us required to control them. But when the hardware is in front of you why to use an app? This is the vision of Kenn Harper, a senior director at Nuance. According to him, a lot of the home devices don’t have a screen and this is where Nuance Mix can be truly useful. “So a thermostat may have a tiny screen or a couple of buttons, but if you want to tell if you’re traveling for a couple of days … how would you do that without speech?”, Harper said.
Nuance Mix is already launched in beta state and nobody knows that if it is going to rule the market when it comes to language understanding when the competitors like Siri and Google Now are sitting on the thrones. The service will be payable depending on the scale of the project that means small developers will get the benefits of Nuance Mix at much cheaper rates.
Talking to your hardware sounds a great idea but considering the developing countries, the market seems to be restricted to the developed ones for now. The above video will give you a better understanding what Nuance is planning.