2022 Speech Industry Award Winner: SoundHound Has Driving Ambitions for Speech
In a short amount of time, SoundHound, an audio and speech recognition company founded in 2005, has advanced as one of the top providers of in-car voice systems, elevating the automotive voice experience from a legacy command-and-control interface to more intuitive conversational functionalities for drivers and passengers.
SoundHound already provided the voice technology used by Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz and by Honda’s cars in Europe, and now its technologies will show up in even more cars. Just this past July, LG Electronics signed on with SoundHound to jointly develop advanced voice AI technology for the next generation of in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems. Users will also be able to use the system to pay for gas or parking and even order food directly from their vehicles.
Just two weeks earlier, SoundHound agreed to provide the in-car voice experiences for Stellantis vehicles in Europe. And just two weeks before that, in late June, DMI, a digital transformation services company, also signed on with SoundHound to develop driver experiences that combine SoundHound’s advanced voice AI platform with DMI’s Edge-to-Cloud solutions.
“We have seen what SoundHound has done with their global OEM engagements, and we are excited about the innovative opportunities this partnership will bring to our clients,” said Jenny Heinze, senior vice president of automotive and connected solutions at DMI, in a statement at the time.
Hot off its merger late last year with Archimedes Tech SPAC Partners and becoming a publicly traded company, SoundHound inked several other key deals that will bring some of its speech technologies to lots of other places as well.
Among some of the more recent deals, SoundHound, which is based in Santa Clara, Calif., in February paired with Snap to provide auto captioning for Snapchat videos, enabling Snapchatters to automatically add complete transcriptions of the audio portions of the Snaps they create.
SoundHound also brought voice ordering to restaurants and integrated its conversational AI phone ordering automation with Square’s point-of-sale (POS) systems. Through this partnership, when customers call restaurants to place orders, the SoundHound for Restaurants voice assistant answers the call, takes the order, accepts modifications, and sends a confirmation to complete the payment. Callers can say what they want through a natural language interface.
SoundHound also this year expanded its partnership with TV manufacturer VIZIO to voice-enable its TVs, allowing viewers to speak naturally to search for TV shows and movies, change TV settings, switch picture modes, launch apps, check the weather, and more.
In another deal, SoundHound teamed up with Qualcomm Technologies to bring Voice AI to Snapdragon platforms, allowing app developers and device manufacturers to implement enhanced conversational voice experiences and build voice interfaces that can detect voice queries in noisy environments and when a device is already transmitting other sounds.
And finally, SoundHound this year partnered with Netflix to provide a voice AI interface for the Netflix Da Vinci Reference Design Kit, letting the streaming service provider offer hands-free experiences to its subscribers. Netflix customers can control their viewing experience by voice and also access their set-top boxes for voice commerce (such as ordering food) or to control connected devices around the house.