Dragon TV gets a jump on Apple brings quality voice control to

first_imgWhat a difference a few years makes. It used to be that rival manufacturers nervously waited for Apple to release its next hot product before jumping into the fray (it took a year or more before the iPhone and iPad had similar competitors). Now companies are taking Apple products’ success for granted, and are trying to beat them to the punch. Take the Apple TV set, for example. At this moment it’s only a rumor, but rivals are already trying to match and even top it. One new platform, Nuance’s Dragon TV, gives smart TV developers and OEMs the tools to create a fully-fledged Siri rival.While it doesn’t quite hit Siri’s “natural language” realm, Dragon TV comes closer than anything we’ve seen on integrated TVs. It will let you navigate to a specific channel by saying its name or number, watch a program by saying its name, or find content by saying a specific actor’s name (“find dramas with Gary Oldman”). Of course social network access is also integrated, letting you say “send update to Facebook: ‘How is Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy?’” or “Call Joe via Skype.”Nuance isn’t the first out of the gate with voice-controlled TV. Microsoft has added voice commands to the Xbox 360, LG has released a remote control with voice capabilities, and we’re sure to see more of the same at this week’s CES. Nuance’s arrival, however, is noteworthy. The company has the best voice recognition tech on the market. While the natural language capabilities of Apple’s Siri come from the DARPA-funded tech that Apple purchased in 2009, the basic voice recognition comes from Nuance (though Apple and Nuance apparently have a contractual agreement to not publicly acknowledge this).Nuance’s presence in the still-incubating smart TV market isn’t to be ignored. Its software will guarantee that, when Apple finally does invade the living room, its Siri controls will have some competition. You can expect to see Dragon TV showing up soon in a variety of platforms, ranging from smart TVs and set-top boxes to iOS and Android. The API is available now for developers and OEMS who want to Apple-proof their future devices.Nuancelast_img read more