Thanks to Siri, we’re all getting familiar with voice recognition. Where the technology really comes into its own, though — in a business sense — is in OS X, where Dragon Dictate is the long-time leader in converting what you say into neatly typed documents and accurately executed commands.
Regardless of whatever happens to Nuance, it looks as though Apple's about to extend Siri to a greater segment of the world's population. MacRumors reports that the Cupertino giant recently posted job listings for "Siri Language Engineers" fluent in Norwegian, Turkish, Danish, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Swedish, Dutch, Thai, and Russian — none of which are currently supported by the service.
Of all the companies that would make sense for Apple to acquire, Nuance — the company behind Siri — would seem high on the list. That's apparently not the case. A new report from the Wall Street Journal states that Apple's chief rival Samsung is moving in to acquire the influential creator of voice-recognition software, which could mean dire things for the folks in Cupertino if the deal goes through.
Sometimes important acquisitions by Apple make big news; other times, months by go by before anyone even knows about it. (It's a pity it seemingly can't achieve that same secrecy with the iPhone anymore.) As TechCrunch reports, it appears that the iPhone maker acquired staff from Novauris Technologies last year to assist in improving Siri, thus all but confirming Apple also acquired the company at the same time.
A new report from The Information claims that Apple's trying to expand Siri's interaction with third-party apps, and it's possible the focus of that attention concerns the highly anticipated "iWatch." As TechCrunch notes, Siri might be the best way to get around the limitations of interacting with wearable tech. As a bonus, it'll bring us closer to the Dick Tracy style watches of comics past.
Only a few minutes with the iOS 7 version of Siri is enough to demonstrate that Apple's voice command software has much improved with the latest release, and as MacRumors reports, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has some new information on why that's the case.
Apple's taken some heavy strides in an attempt to make Siri more appealing to iOS users, but it seems that the majority of users favor simple typing over voice commands. How much is a majority? As Cnet reports, research from a firm called Intelligent Voice suggests that as many as 85 percent of iOS users haven't even used Siri yet.
Interesting things are afoot at Apple, and not all of them are originating in Cupertino. As noted by Xconomy (via 9to5Mac), Apple's new Boston office near MIT has suddenly been staffed with speech and voice-recognition specialists formerly employed by VoiceSignal Technologies, leading to speculation that Apple's planning on changes for Siri that entail a shift away from Nuance.
Ever wanted to have a conversation with a mobile ad, presumably aside from yelling at it to get off your screen? Ads are going to get a lot more chatty soon, thanks to the voice recognition gurus at Nuance.