Nuance Releases Mobile Voice Control for BlackBerry Smartphones

Made with the on-the-go user in mind, Nuance announced today the availability of its Nuance Voice Control application for BlackBerry smartphones. Driven by natural voice commands, Voice Control grants users the ability to dictate e-mails and text messages, find nearby businesses, trackstock quotes, receive directions, and create calendar appointments, among other capabilities. According to a Nuance press release, the $6-per-month service isintegrated with the built-in GPS of the BlackBerry 8800 series smartphones and is, "the first location-based mobile voice search application that uses natural speech as its input mechanism."

Hugo Barra, Nuance Mobile business director, thinks the Voice Control application is "very compelling" to BlackBerry users, because of their tendency to use their smartphone for input-generated searches and Web browsing, in addition to regular phone calls.

"We think this is an alternative for people who want the easiest possible interface when they’re on the move and it’s difficult to type," Barra says. "It’s that simplicity and ease of access."

Though it runs on voice commands, Voice Control requires users to speak from a specific list of commands in order to achieve the function. For example, to find a nearby business, users must say, "Find Business Pizza near me" or, "Get directions from here to 1500 Broadway, New York, NY."

In addition, Voice Control also grants users a free 411 service for the BlackBerry 8800 from AT&T.

Though Nuance has made its Voice Control available for specific Spring phones over the past year, the application for BlackBerry is available for download through Handango. Canadian users can use the application through phones serviced through Rogers Wireless. Barra says Nuance plans on working with Sprint in the future because, he says, Voice Control "will work with the majority of BlackBerries on the market."

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