By Pooja Drubra | Aug 07, 2012 12:32 PM EDT
The voice technology company Nuance has announced its all-new voice platform, Nina, a voice control interface similar to Apple's Siri. Nuance Communications is best known for its Dragon Naturally Speaking line of voice applications for PCs and Dragon Dictation on iPhone.
Siri and Nina differ in their use of biometrics. Nina is intelligent enough to differentiate between voices, so if some one else uses your phone, Nina will know. Weideman added, "For the first time on a mobile device, our virtual assistant doesn't just understand what you said and what you want, we can actually understand who said it." This ability may pose a threat to Siri's market share.
Nina works in a similar fashion to other voice-recognition apps, but rather than memorizing a common set of words that are recognized by voice recognizing apps and are used to press commands, users of Nina rely upon natural language navigation. It requires a network connection to connect to the "Nina Virtual Assistant Cloud," which Nina uses to translate what is spoken to it.
Nina is chiefly focused on enhancing client-service applications. Nuance Enterprise Division executive vice president Robert Weideman said in a statement, "Nina is a watershed innovation for the automated customer service industry, not only because it brings the virtual assistant directly into an app, but because it raises the bar through its level of interactive dialog and language understanding." USAA, a provider of financial services for members of the U.S. military, said, "We plan to use the Nina virtual assistant with its USAA mobile app. A pilot of the of the combined app will begin this month and a full launch is slated for 2013."
As of now, only Android and iOS users will be able to use the app on their devices this fall. Current demonstrations of Nina will showcase only the generic female voice of the app, but eventually, users will be able to choose from up to 40 different voices or even integrate their own voices into the app.
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