Sensory Releases VoiceDial App for Android

Sensory has released speech application VoiceDial for Android phones and tablets. The app combines the company’s two key engines, TrulyHandsfree voice control and TrulyNatural, an embedded large-vocabulary continuous speech recognizer system.

The app’s always-on, always-listening TrulyHandsfree trigger is activated by speaking the wake-up words "Hello BlueGenie." Users can then give commands, such as "Call Joe."

Todd Mozer, cofounder and CEO of Sensory, explains that VoiceDial's TrulyNatural engine allows the app to build and process user contacts—whether just a few to thousands—on device and lets users call people by voice with "really good accuracy, even in noise."

"It's a lot more effective than the Siris and the Google Nows because it really works well in noise," Mozer says. "Part of our reason for doing this application was because users were frustrated that when driving their car it was difficult to voice-dial. Since TrulyNatural works well with noise, we decided that the first app we'd build internally would be a voice-dialer.”

The in-vehicle mode senses when a user is driving and activates the TrulyHandsfree trigger. But there are other use cases for VoiceDial—Mozer said that it can be used anywhere since it was designed for Android phones. More than 500 million products feature TrulyHandsfree technology, including Intel, Samsung, LG, and Motorola.

Mozer points out that for devices with always-on capabilities, low power consumption is crucial; this led Sensory to port TrulyHandsfree with many digital signal processor (DSP) providers. "We can run in one milliamp," he says. "If you have a 500 milliamp battery in your device, that means that we can run for 500 hours nonstop listening."

TrulyHandsfree's accuracy is key as well, Mozer says. "We almost never get false fires, and when you call to it, it works, even in noise."

As for VoiceDial's back end, TrulyNatural offers a number of advantages, Mozer says, because it does not require an Internet connection.

"It's interesting because the Internet connection that you need to do speech recognition is more high-bandwidth and more powerful connection than you need for making a voice call," Mozer says.

"In many cases, when you want to make a phone call, there's enough bandwidth to have a conversation but not enough to do accurate voice recognition, so you want voice recognition on the device."  

VoiceDial is currently available in U.S. English, with additional languages to come.

Mozer says that VoiceDial underscores the company's belief in hands-free speech technology. "Sensory was kind of the pioneer in the always-on approach," he says. "We're big believers in not having to touch things and to be able to just start talking."  

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