Nuance Joins Global ng Connect Program

Yesterday Nuance Communications joined the ng Connect Program. Founded in 2009, ng Connect is a multi-industry attempt to develop broadband services based on long-term evolution (LTE) and other high bandwidth technologies.

Now that Nuance is a member of the program, it will collaborate in hopes of improving automotive services, and it states that possible solutions will fall along a range of vertical industries. including healthcare, financial services, government, education, and others.

Some of the technologies Nuance provides to the automotive industry include voice-activated dialing, voice destination entry for navigation systems, vehicle command and control, in-vehicle entertainment systems, and connected services that are available in more than 30 million personal navigation devices and vehicles.

Last week, Strategy Analytics released a report stating that the safety benefit of voice technology declines once a user encounters errors in a system, so improvements in automotive voice technologies have become more than just a way to satisfy customer demands for ease of use.

"Today's mobile consumer craves connectivity no matter where they are, evidenced by the increased demand for connected capabilities in the automotive environment," Arnd Weil, general manager of Nuance Automotive, said in a statement," However, safer usage of these connected features behind the wheel is critical to minimize visual and manual distractions. By Joining the ng Connect Program, we're able to collaborate with a number of technology, device, and application providers to bring our speech cabilities to market in unique ways that make accessing connected car services and features safer and easier."

"We have a business unit for automotive that has a dedicated unit within our company because we have found some unique challenges in the automotive environment ...safety issues are always relevant for us [and we need to take] driver distraction  into account when we develop [new technologies]," Weil said in a phone interview.

In the ng Connect program, Nuance plans to work on a solution in the vehicle that will leverage its speech recognition technologies, natural language processing, and text-to-speeech (TTS) such as Nuance Voice Control for Automotive, which the company says is the first one-button solution that will give access to all in-vehicle and connected services.

"The ng Connect Program ecosystem is growing rapidly due to the amazing industry interest in the creation of services for next-generation networks. Program members are collaborating on state-of-the-art user experiences that support society's interest in being connected anywhere, any time and thorugh a multitude of 'smart' devices--which now includes vehicles," says Derek Kuhn, vice-president of Emerging Technology and Media at Alcatel-Lucent, a founding member of the ng Connect Program, in a statement, "We're pleased to welcome Nuance to the program and are looking forward to their contributions to the next-generation of connected services."

Nuance plans to use a remote server it will also host. "We're going to combine two worlds of embedded HMI and speech technology with the server world," Weil says.

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