By Alexandra Burlacu | Sep 12, 2012 12:13 PM EDT
Nuance Communications, the developer behind Swype and Dragon for PC, has announced that Dragon Assistant Beta is now available for Intel-inspired Ultrabooks. The Dell XPS 13 will be one of the first Ultrabooks to ship with Dragon Assistant Beta in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Announced at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco on Tuesday, Sept. 11, the new Nuance Dragon Assistant Beta is a voice assistant application resulted from the "strategic" collaboration between Intel and Nuance, which was first announced back at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012.
Similarly to Apple's Siri and Google's Voice search offerings on smartphones, the new Dragon software will enable Ultrabook users to talk to their computers and instruct them to perform certain tasks such as search the Web, find content, play music, check or reply to e-mail, update social statuses, and more. Ultrabook users can activate the Dragon Assistant simply by saying "Hello Dragon," or de-activate it by saying "Go to sleep."
Dragon Assistant uses Nuance's Dragon voice technology and natural language understanding capabilities in order to provide users with an easy and intuitive way of engaging and interacting with their Ultrabooks, explained the two companies.
"Dragon Assistant is a direct result of Nuance and Intel's vision for a more human, natural interaction between people and their technology," said Peter Mahoney, Chief Marketing Officer at Nuance Communications. "You speak and the Ultrabook responds. Working closely with Intel, we've created a voice assistant experience optimized for the Ultrabook - incredibly fast, reliable, and with the performance you expect from a combined Nuance-Intel innovation. Dragon Assistant drives productivity, creativity and simply a PC experience that fits today's busy lifestyle."
Dadi Perlmutter, Intel chief product officer, demonstrated the new Dragon Assistant Beta at the IDF in San Francisco. The Ultrabook was able to understand a voice command to show pictures, and showed results in a browser via Google search. The demonstration also used voice commands to display shopping results of an Amazon search for sunglasses.
The voice integration service also allowed the user to utter a message to post on Twitter, and responded to a command to play a Hindi song. According to Perlmutter, the feature will be able to understand multiple accents within a year, thus extending its reach and functionality. The Ultrabook chips have been specifically tuned to work with the feature.
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