SVOX to Support TTS and ASR on Latest Version of MS Auto

SVOX, the Swiss-based embedded speech provider, yesterday made its solutions immediately available on the latest version of Microsoft (MS) Auto, version 4.0.

SVOX will be providing the new MS with both text-to-speech (TTS) and automated speech recognition (ASR) capabilities via its Speech Output and Speech Recognition solutions, respectively. With this announcement, SVOX essentially guarantees the compatibility of its products on the platform, allowing designers using the 4.0 version of MS Auto access to the extra leverage that SVOX’s speech solutions could provide.

These solutions will allow automotive companies to “differentiate themselves by making in-car products more intuitive to use and thus more attractive to consumers,” according to a prepared statement by Martin Reber, SVOX’s chief executive officer.

The support for 4.0 extends a similar partnership between SVOX and Microsoft that was forged over the 3.0 version of MS Auto, and saw SVOX providing TTS capabilities on that platform; at that time the ASR was handled by Siemens’ Speech Unit, which SVOX acquired in January of 2009. This latest release of MS Auto will represent the first time that SVOX will be tackling both TTS and ASR for Microsoft.

Handling these functionalities in tandem will provide SVOX’s solution some extra technological power as there will be more data sharing, but Alexander Davydov, marketing manager for the company, is quick to caution that, “It isn’t a radical benefit.”

More important for the company are the business gains that these twin offerings suggest. Between the two functionalities, SVOX can more or less offer a complete speech package, rather than just TTS, as it had in the past. The Microsoft offering is also just one of the many platforms the company works on; it also supports QNX, u-iTron, Embedded Linux, and others.

“We’re aimed to serve all environments and all customers. We don’t bet on one horse,” says Davydov. “We should be able to provide speech solutions everywhere. Microsoft is a significant player, so we’ll provide there—but we don’t exclusively say this is a better system. We support everything.”

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