Apple may wean away from licensing Nuance's services for Siri, instead creating an in-house speech recognition solution which will be used to power the virtual assistant in the future. Apple has already hired several experts in this field, including Nuance's former vice president of research Larry Gillick, and is said to be looking for more candidates in its bid to create a team of researchers to work on technologies like speech recognition, deep learning and neural networks.
Earlier this week rumors surfaced that Nuance Communications is up for sale. Apple is reportedly a huge customer of Nuance, using the firm's voice recognition software to help power Siri. So, if Nuance really is up for sale, should Apple be the ones who close the deal?
Nuance Communications stock prices are rising as speculations of a potential sale of the company to Samsung Electronics are heating up. Nuance provides speech and voice recognition software for many products in the market, including cars and GPS, Samsung's own line of Galaxy phones and tablets, as well as Apple's voice assistant Siri.
Apple has reportedly put together a team of voice parsing specialists in Boston, including former Nuance employees, which has led to some speculation that Apple is looking to roll their own engine for Siri. Google did this from the beginning with Google Now, and the power and flexibility that gave them is often thought to be one of the reasons for it being better, faster, and more localized than Apple's Nuance relationship allows. According to Xcomomy:
Nuance has just announced Nina, a new virtual customer service assistant SDK (software developers kit) for iOS and Android. Nuance, which is widely believed to power Apple's Siri voice recognition, is aiming the SDK at iPhone and iPad developers who want to quickly and easily add voice assistance to their App Store apps. And while Siri understands what you're saying and the context in which you're saying it,Nuance claims Nina uses voice biometrics to understand just who exactly is doing the talking.
While Nuance can't comment about any relationship with Apple, it's widely believed their technology powers the voice recognition and dictation behind Siri, the iPhone 4S artificial assistant. It also powers several of their own apps in the iPhone and iPad App Store, including the industry leading Dragon Dictation and the new Dragon Go.
Rene, Georgia, and Seth talk Santa Siri commercial, sexism charges, AT&T and T-Mobile deal, Nuance buying Vlingo, how to replace your iPhone 4 vibrator assembly, jailbreak, Facebook Timelines, Kindle updates, FPS games, and more. This is iPhone and iPad Live!
Note: Due to the holiday and CES schedule, we won't be recording on Sundays for the next few weeks, so enjoy special iPhone and iPad combined episodes every Wednesday!
9to5Mac's resident shinobi, Mark Gurman, has posted details on several upcoming -- or potentially upcoming -- iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad features for iOS 5), including the Nuance-powered, voice controlled Assistant, a new online iOS diagnostic service, and Find my Friends social sharing.
A screenshot has been found in the latest iOS 5 beta 5 release which again reveals that text to speech may be coming in the final version of iOS 5. Last month we saw some screenshots of a settings screen which allowed you to turn the voice assistant on and off. Now we have another screenshot showing how to activate the speech-to-text from within an app.