Nuance Hits the Right Note for Samsung
Nuance Communications has just signed a new multiyear agreement with Samsung Electronics, thereby expanding the electronics company’s commitment to Nuance Mobile applications, which include Nuance’s voice control solution Vsuite; the TTS solution Vocalizer; and the STT solution VoiceMode. This partnership reflects the importance that voice will play in the increasing multimodality of mobile handsets.
Mike Thompson, vice president and general manager of Nuance Mobile, estimates that the collective suite of Nuance mobile applications is growing at a rate of 30 percent to 50 percent a year in terms of units shipped. Vsuite, the most mature application, is growing at the fastest pace and has already shipped in more than 200 million smart phones. The comparatively newer Vocalizer and VoiceMode are experiencing more gradual growth.
One unanswered question posed at the Voice Search Conference in San Diego earlier this month was the best way to blend voice user interfaces with graphical user interfaces. "Interface innovations that are happening around the mobile phone are incredibly right now," Thompson says, "and you will find over time that voice will play a large role, an increasing role as those interfaces begin to expand and grow."
The dominant interface, Thompson believes, will hinge on graphic user interfaces, voice recognition, and predictive text. "There are numerous use cases where any one of them might be the optimum interface for that particular moment," he adds, emphasizing that in-car use are the best opportunities for voice recognition.
Nuance maintains a strong presence in mobile applications. It has relationships with equipment manufacturers such as Samsung, Motoroloa, Nokia, Sanyo, RIM, and Palm, which in turn supply North American carriers AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Rogers, among others.
Currently, both Sprint and Rogers offer Nuance Voice Control 1.0, which connects the client to the network and allows voice access to a greater array of connected internet applications. The second generation of the service is deep in the design phase, according to Thompson, and will be available later this summer.