Nuance Stakes Its Place in Mobility

Nuance unfolded its mobile roadmap during the company’s Conversations users' conference yesterday in Boca Raton, Fla. During the seminar, Matt Revis, Nuance’s director of product management, revealed that $20 billion over the next five years is staked on the success of voice-operated mobile search. So it should come as little surprise that Nuance today announced that a 30-day free trial of Nuance Voice Control, a mobile search and messaging service powered by speech technology, is preloaded on Sprint’s Palm Centro smart device.

Users press a button to activate the voice control, which allows them to  search the Web, dictate and send email or text messages, create calendar entries, or dial contacts. According to Revis, Nuance Voice Control was used on average 63 times per month. By reducing the number of clicks to use a phone’s feature, Nuance Voice Control increases ease-of-use by simplifying access and saving time. According to the Mobile Marketing Association, 89 percent of users can’t use their mobile search feature. Voice control makes it nearly as easy as simply uttering a request.

However, as an embedded service, Nuance Voice Control is primarily for smartphones, and is comparatively rare on feature phones. So while it’s a successful application, its audience is limited. Thus the incorporation of Nuance Voice Control with Centro is particularly important in that the Centro, though it has smartphone features, is designed for a broader audience.   

"Centro has the opportunity to attract a broad new customer base to the smartphone category," Michael Thompson, Nuance’s vice president and general manager of mobile search and communications, said in a release. "We believe our preloaded presence on this device gives Nuance the opportunity to spread Nuance Voice Control adoption beyond our traditional business user audience to a younger market that is hungry for new and easier ways to surf the mobile Web and communicate with peers."

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