Nuance Enhances Dragon Mobile Assistant with Voice Biometrics

Nuance has amped up its Dragon Mobile assistant, which now features Nuance Voice Print biometric technology in addition to other redesigned features.

"When designing Dragon Mobile Assistant, we decided that there were a few items we could not live without," said Michael Thompson, executive vice president and general manager at Nuance Mobile, in a statement. "Among those at the top of this list are personalization and security. With that in mind, we created the latest version of Dragon Mobile Assistant featuring Nuance Voice Print, putting intelligence and simplicity at the forefront of the user experience."

The Voice Print solution shares some of the tactical components as Nuance's business personal assistant, Nina, but it is calibrated differently to be about user recognition, says Josh Lipe, director of mobile product solutions at Nuance. It's not a hard and fast high level of security implementation of voice biometrics, but it's a different use case, he adds.

"This has security but it's more about [speech] recognition," Lipe says. "Nina has a high level of security, mostly used by banks, where security comes first, whereas this is more about user recognition versus a security mechanism."

Other Dragon Mobile Assistant features include improvements in the semantic Web browser and the ability for users to share information directly from their results page in their browser to others through email and Facebook.

"We designed the experience from the older implementation, which was very tap-based, to a more streamlined view, Lipe says. "We increased the amount of content coming back on the user's screen by 35 percent."

Additionally, the solution now features full landscape support that allows users to dock their device and go into a driver mode, where it can be operated eyes-free and hands-free and interact with just a person's voice.

"Dragon Mobile Assistant actually detects when the user is driving, so when the user is in motion, it will automatically switch into driver mode if you select that feature. We look at landscape mode as a very powerful capability in that scenario," Lipe says.

In addition to Nina, Nuance's voice biometric technology is featured in the company's recently introduced Dragon TV platform. The solution can be found in set-top boxes, second screen applications, and smart TVs produced by manufacturers such as Panasonic, where it listens to a user's voice, authenticates it, and responds to voice commands.

"As we build these voice systems out and they evolve them more and more, you'll see more consistency and features that show up in different places that previously were not thought of. We're headed for more customization, personalization, new ways of interacting that take out barriers and steps between users and content," Lipe says.

Dragon Mobile Assistant is available for free in English on Google Play in the US, supporting Android 2.3 and above.

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