Ever imagined how awesome it would be if your phone could translate your voice in real time when in a foreign country? Google is believed to be working on a device like that known as the “Babel Fish” according to Hugo Barra, VP of the Android division. He mentions that the technology is pretty much there and that Google has nearly perfected it, but there are some tough challenges facing the project. “We’ve got tons of prototypes of that sort of interaction, and I’ve played with it every other week to see how much progress we’ve made.” – he said.
The challenges apparently occur when the prototype is used in an unsupported atmosphere, such as in traffic or other distortive surroundings. But in a silent room, the accuracy is near 100%, Barra claims. The prototype is believed to have some pretty good language matches already like English and Portuguese. It’s always good to know that a project like this is being worked on, especially considering how serious voice recognition is taken these days. Since it is a work in progress, we might have to wait quite a long time to see this come to life, so don’t hold your breath.
Adobe special effects whiz is working on an app called PixelTone that will edit your photos and images – with voice commands. Adobe in collaboration with the University of Michigan, calls the app ‘A multimodal interface for image editing’. Everything you did with touch is now possible with voice, with PixelTone’s fantastic new capabilities!
You can issue a voice command and PixelTone will immediately obey, sometimes displaying options for fine tuning. It does not require camera specific terminology or Android specific instructions. The app works perfectly well with general English and instructions. Commands like ‘Increase the brightness of this image’ will be accepted and executed smoothly. In addition to image correction, the app provides a number of filters for different looks – like the retro look, night, day, sepia, black and white and other interesting filters. The best part about this app is that users will be able to edit not only the entire snap but will be able to work with a portion of the image to improve, distort, or rework it as desired- a brilliant feature to have in an image editing app.
Users have been limited to creating filters or editing images with apps that are shipped with Apple or with those downloaded from Google’s PlayStore or BlackBerry’s app world. PixelTone is the complete package from Adobe to edit your image in every way possible. Filters, tones, contrast, brightness, color depth and a host of other variations, PixelTone offers fun ways to work with images. And the icing to the cake is voice control operation of this app! The power of sophisticated software, the likes of Photoshop and Illustrator packed into your handheld device, run by voice input! Adobe, take a bow!
Nina for Android and iOS apps was unveiled by Nuance, the developer of the famous Siri for the iPhone 4S. Nina or “Nuance Interactive Natural Assistant” turns your iPhone or Android into voice-enabled customer service assistants by transforming the Smartphone’s apps like a tool that will allow customers to engage and receive immediate outcomes.
While Siri was first introduced on Apple as a built-in virtual assistant to the iPhone 4S, it was powered by the voice recognition service by Nuance. This leads to a lot of effort for third-party developers to create many clones and illegitimate means of getting Siri to work on other devices. However, Android and some other Operating System have also developed quality virtual assistants similar to Siri.
Nina was built on the same voice recognition engine from Nuance from which Apple has developed Siri. And thus, it just can be added to iOS and Android apps via Software Development Kit (SDK) issued by the company after their announcement.
So, what does it really actually do? Nina can validate your identity by using unique voice prints to authenticate. You can navigate through the system because Nina can capture in a single utterance so she can get the users’ words to give an answer. She can also do a transaction for the users by extracting content, context and meaning from a request to ensure faster result in a fewer steps. Nina also teaches the users so you can learn the most of your virtual assistant through talking, typing or tapping.
According to Nuance’s press release, Nina is a pre-made personal assistant persona that combines Nuance’s speech recognition system, text to speech, voice biometrics and natural language understanding technology hosted in the cloud to deliver “an interactive user experience that not only understands what is said, but also can identify who is saying it.”
Do you think Nina can damage Siri and other voice recognition software for Smartphones? Here is a quick video for Nina.
Nuance’s signature voice recognition app, Dragon Go, just made it easier to get up and actually go somewhere. Last week Nuance announced a new partnership with premiere travel site Expedia and the Expedia group, to help users find and locate travel easily.
Expedia has joined over 200 other content providers in the Nuance Dragon Go network. Dragon Go allows users to speak naturally and search for things on the internet via their Android phone or iPhone. Dragon Go features natural voice recognition and understanding that understands not only what the user says but what the user means.
“Old school mobile search is fading. The majority of consumers don’t like blue links, scrolling, or pecking. Consumers want personal mobile assistant capabilities with unfiltered access to content and knowledge,” said Michael Thompson, senior vice president and general manager, Nuance Mobile. “With direct access to services like Expedia, consumers can do just about anything from anywhere – even book a last minute trip with just a few spoken words.”
Speed is an all-important part of communication these days. It is not necessarily, how well one can articulate what needs to be said it’s how fast one can convey it. With that in mind, many app developers have come out with new ways to communicate such as voice responses to texts and the like. However, there are now apps that don’t even bother with the text and instead just use voice to communicate. An example of these apps is Blip.me Walkie-Talkie.