Speech Technology Magazine

 

HARMAN and Nuance Collaborate to Develop Voice Solutions for Connected In-Car Infotainment

The two companies are increasing speech-activated command and control functions for in-car navigation, music, and information systems.
Posted Jan 11, 2011
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HARMAN, the  audio and infotainment company, and Nuance Communications are increasing the safe use and enjoyment of media-rich information and entertainment systems in the car by seamlessly integrating the latest in intuitive, speech-activated command and control technologies with HARMAN in-car media and audio platforms.

Together, HARMAN and Nuance are pioneering solutions that leverage innovative text-to-speech and speech-to-text technologies that enable safer in-car SMS text and email messaging. HARMAN’s latest generation of infotainment systems combine navigation and multimedia capabilities with seamless connectivity to Bluetooth-equipped smartphones. To eliminate the visual and manual distractions of accessing and interfacing with these services while behind the wheel, HARMAN and Nuance have developed solutions that convert incoming SMS text messages and email to voice, allowing them to be read aloud to drivers via the in-car audio systems. Drivers will also be able to respond to text or email messages by a short voice command, and have their messages then delivered back to the recipients via text format.

“HARMAN is striving to bring the best advances in connectivity and multimedia features into the car for its OEM customers, while ensuring drivers keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road,” said Michael Mauser, co-president of HARMAN Automotive. “Together with leaders such as Nuance, HARMAN is developing highly intuitive voice interfaces to support today’s connected lifestyles, while minimizing manual and visual distractions in the car.”

The two companies are also collaborating to deliver voice-to-text support for social networking applications, such as Twitter, as well as voice command support for third-party applications that include tracking your preferred stock price or the scores of your favorite sports teams. To accommodate the unique language, spelling, and emoticon conventions of a texting generation, HARMAN and Nuance are focused on developing clear and intuitive solutions for in-car applications, leveraging Nuance’s cloud-based connectivity options.

The two companies have already introduced speech capabilities for leading auto manufacturers including Daimler, BMW, and Audi, that allow for more conversational dialogue between drivers and their navigation and entertainment systems, simplifying the conventional, multistep/multicommand approach. HARMAN infotainment solutions support Nuance One-Shot Destination Entry, where drivers can enter an entire destination address in one, simple spoken command. For example, just say “Washington, Pennsylvania Avenue, 1600” and the navigation system will begin the route.

Similarly, drivers can enjoy safer and easier interaction with one-shot commands that provide easy and safer access to their music collection by saying “Play Artist Pink Floyd” or “Play Title Dark Side of the Moon.” Radio and other music playback can also be controlled via voice, allowing drivers to set favorite stations by name or frequency, and use the CD, DVD, and MP3 players with simple voice commands.

“Drivers worldwide are demanding more from their in-car experience,” said Arnd Weil, vice president and general manager of Nuance Automotive. “They want increased functionality that doesn’t come at the cost of safety. By working with leaders such as HARMAN, we’re able to seamlessly integrate conversational speech capabilities that allow drivers to take full advantage of today’s connected and media-rich systems, and make them safer and easier to use.”

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