Speech Technology Magazine

QNX Launches In-Car Speech Recognition Framework

New software brings AT&T Watson speech recognition engine to in-car systems and apps.
Posted Jan 7, 2013
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QNX Software Systems, a provider of software platforms for in-car electronics, announced a new framework that accesses AT&T Watson speech recognition technology and allows speech recognition systems in cars to understand a speaker's intent.

The software extracts meaning from the driver's spoken words, enabling in-car systems to create calendar appointments, dictate email or text messages, set complex navigation destinations, and perform general Internet searches.

Determination of the intent behind the driver's speech starts on the server, where the AT&T Watson speech engine begins to analyze words and fits them to known patterns. The results are then handed from the cloud to the car, where the in-vehicle intent engine from QNX Software Systems performs the remainder of the speech analysis to determine how to act.

"Sharing the workload across client and server offers automotive manufacturers and end users the best of both worlds," said Andy Gryc, automotive product marketing manager at QNX Software Systems, in a statement. "The server-side analysis, provided by AT&T Watson, is optimized for complex scenarios, such as a navigation application in which the driver may verbalize destinations in hundreds of different ways. The QNX client-side analysis grants car makers greater flexibility, enabling them to adapt the AT&T Watson results for a variety of in-car applications, regional aspects, or personal tastes."

The intent system from QNX Software Systems is dynamically pluggable, which allows the recognized vocabulary to change depending on what applications are active, and to support new apps downloaded to the car.

"Enabling natural, intuitive user experiences is fundamental to our vision of the connected vehicle, and providing our automotive customers with the tools to create those experiences is fundamental to our product strategy," said Linda Campbell, director of strategic alliances at QNX Software Systems, in a statement. "By providing a framework that enables our customers to take greater advantage of AT&T's phenomenal speech engine, the new intent system should help accelerate the adoption of speech recognition across a broad range of vehicles."

The QNX CAR application platform from QNX Software Systems is a comprehensive, pre-integrated software stack designed to help automotive companies reduce the time and effort of building highly sophisticated and connected infotainment systems.

QNX Software Systems has licensed its software technology for millions of in-vehicle systems worldwide, including digital instrument clusters, hands-free systems, multimedia head units, connectivity modules, and 3D navigation systems.

"For many of us, the most natural way to communicate is with our voice," said Mazin Gilbert, assistant vice president of technical research at AT&T Labs, in a statement. "By working with QNX and opening access to our rich set of speech technologies developed at our labs, we're making it possible for more people to use the power of their voice to stay safely connected in their vehicles. Delivering this type of next-generation virtual assistant applications for the connected car is especially important as we look at how technology can help drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel."


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