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Nuance brings Siri-like features to Android and iOS apps with Nina

By Shawn Knight
Aug 6, 2012
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  1. Nuance, the company behind Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition products and Apple's Siri voice assistant, has released a software developer's kit and a set of APIs that enterprise clients can use to integrate voice controls into their Android and iOS……

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  2. This app needs Chinese language support. Google translate is fine and all, but could be better.
     
  3. Michael Essany

    Michael Essany TS Rookie

    From what I've seen of the demonstrations by Nuance, this feature is going to wow the general public and bring even more attention to Android. As developers gain access to more resources like this, particularly in the Android realm, iOS is going to suffer miserably. I don't think it will take much to have Nina upstage Siri. And we already see (from success stories like Airpush.com and others) just how well devs/advertisers are thriving these days on the Android platform. So I see Nuance's newest creation, in an odd way, as a bigger help to Android than iOS even though Nina is available for both. Smartphone users are just looking for bigger and better things on Android and this delivers one of the most sought-after new features of the modern mobile era - a virtual personal assistant.
     
  4. Hard to see how this benefits Android more than iOS considering not only do iOS users have the same access to Nina as Android users but also have Siri, arguably good enough for most users, baked in for free. And of course Siri will continue to improve.
     
  5. A voice-activated Virtual Person Assistant can be useful in private settings but is not often desirable in public spaces for obvious reasons. Dragon NS has been functional and available in the computer market for years but I can't say I've seen a revolution. I'm not convinced touch-screen phones will all of a sudden kick it into overdrive.
     
  6. Chinese support ? Do you mean translation ? That's extremely unlikely anytime soon. Chinese and English are about as different as two languages can be, not to mention many cultural ideas rooted in the languages simply don't convert. For example, hello is purely functional and has no meaning other than being used to greet people. Its etymology shows it had meaning in German http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hello The Chinese equivalent greeting nei hou has a meaning and is more like the English, "How are you ?". Simply put it means "You good ?" but it is also very common in Cantonese to say "sik fan ah" which literally means, "eat rice ?" and translated means "Have you eaten rice today ?". Plus both languages are rich in idioms, slang, phrasal use, and metaphor, not to mention local variations. The Cantonese idiom for a bisexual is a multi-socket (the phrase for an electrical adapter). Translation is ridiculously difficult and is really an art form. Little wonder Google translate is horrendous, so don't expect that to change soon.
     
  7. I agree Dragon NS has been around for a long time, but that was the day of the PC/Laptop which you really can't use while driving or moving around. With tablets and smartphones, these voice to text apps are very nice to have to record memos, text, email, etc or do anything that keeps the users eyes and hands off the device and on the road.. I take long road trips and I'm constantly having ideas that I would like to write down while I'm driving but I obviously can't. These apps are the future, especially when the mobile phones and tablets become even more integrated into cars and even helmets for motorcycle enthusiasts.
     


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