Yap Releases iPhone SDK

Yap, yesterday, made available its Software Development Kit (SDK) for the speech-enablement of iPhone applications.

The release gives developers an interface to voice-enable existing mobile applications like email, text messaging, search, and more.

According to Igor Jablokov, CEO of Yap, the release is a response to the clear need in the iPhone developer community for more advanced forms of speech recognition that allow end users a more natural input method.

“If you witness the popularity of instant messaging and social networking apps on that platform, as end users ourselves we'd rather just speak into them and have our thoughts posted nearly instantaneously,” he writes in an email to Speech Technology. “And it's not just about messaging apps…We're the missing piece that allows developers to recognize everything else.”

The Yap SDK for iPhone is available through the company’s partner program, which according to Yap focuses on “establishing a diverse community of organizations dedicated to the proliferation of speech input for mobile applications.”

“We handle all the audio and networking required to successfully convert their audio into text for any application [developers] may envision,” Jablokov writes. “We're focused on the utmost balance between accuracy, speed, security, and privacy with a 100 percent machine-based platform.”

According to Jablokov, the SDK for iPhone works by streaming audio to Yap's cluster and converting anything end users say into text.

“Highly accurate freeform speech recognition requires a server-based approach given its inherent processing and memory requirements,” he writes. “As a bonus it allows developers to take advantage of the fast pace of upgrades happening to our core service on an almost daily basis.”

And, Jablokov says, the reaction to the release has been very positive thus far.

“Given the inherent difficulty with entering text on touch based interfaces, recent studies have shown that over 70 percent of end users prefer speech input,” he says. “That's where we come in.”

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