Posts Tagged ‘voice search’

Amazon Fires Up Fire TV Featuring Voice Search And Content Viewing Prediction Capabilities

retAmazon today unveiled its Fire TV streaming video device. During the announcement event in Manhattan, company vice president Peter Larsen called the $99 set top box “tiny, incredibly powerful and unbelievably simple.” For users, that power and simplicity are designed to be evident in features such as the device’s ability to project and preload the content users will want to see and to navigate via voice search.

A statement by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos reads that, “Our exclusive new ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) feature predicts the shows you’ll want to watch and gets them ready to stream instantly.” Movies or tv shows are buffered for playback before users hit the play button, the company says; those choices are made by analyzing users’ watch lists and recommendations. As users’ viewing habits change, the caching prediction algorithm will adjust accordingly, and personalization capabilities should get better over time as buyers use the Fire TV device.

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Siri May Be Able to Search Photos Soon

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Jon Reed of iPhoneFAQ reports, “Apple’s overhauled Photos application that debuted with iOS 7 earlier this year introduced automatic photo sorting by date and location. A new patent application that surfaced at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday suggests that Apple wants to improve upon this idea by allowing users to tag photos and search for them using Siri. The patent, entitled ‘Voice-Based Image Tagging and Searching,’ describes how the idea works in its abstract: ‘The electronic device provides a natural language text string corresponding to a speech input associated with the digital photograph. The electronic device performs natural language processing on the text string to identify one or more terms associated with an entity, an activity, or a location. The electronic device tags the digital photograph with the one or more terms and their associated entity, activity, or location’.” Read more

Nuance Launches Voice Ads: Ads That Can Carry a Conversation

Rachel Metz of Technology Review reports, “Nuance is today announcing Voice Ads, a platform that will let companies create ads that people can talk to on smartphones and tablets. Mike McSherry, vice president of advertising and content at Nuance, says these could range from car ads that let you ask questions about the vehicle shown to ads for a sports network that allow you to get information about who won last night’s game or what time tonight’s game starts. The company has lined up partnerships with several ad agencies including DigitasOMD, and Leo Burnett, as well as with mobile ad distribution networks JumpTapMillennial Media, and Ad Marvel.” Read more

CheapAir.com Launches Voice Travel Search

Nick Vivion of Tnooz reports, “The latest foray into voice-tech comes from CheapAir.com. The voice activation feature is integrated with the company’s latest iPhone and iPad release, allowing customers to use voice to search for flights amidst the 25 million aggregated fares. The app works very simply: state your departure and destination points, date and time preferences, and the app will process the verbal input to deliver query results.” CheapAir CEO Jeff Klee stated, “We know that more and more travelers want to research flight options with their phones… We’re doing everything we can to make it easier to find the lowest fares and the best flight options. CheapAir was the first travel site to let people search for fares using natural language, we were the first to show which in-flight amenities are on every flight, and now we’ve launched the first voice-activated iPhone app.” Read more

Google Glass Powers Ahead, Though Privacy Battle May Be On The Horizon

The NY Times reports today that Google acknowledged it had violated people’s privacy during its StreetView mapping project. Thirty-eight states had brought a case against Google on the grounds that the project resulted in people’s passwords and other personal information being unknowingly recorded by the search giant. Google has agreed to settle it by paying a $7 million fine as well as by becoming more aggressive in ensuring that its employees’ efforts don’t violate privacy and informing the public about how to avoid having their privacy compromised.

In its discussion of the settlement, the article brings up that the way now is paved for another privacy battle, this time over Google Glass. Concerns are that Google Glass eyewear also can be used to record photos, videos and audios of the wearer’s surroundings, without the permission of the individuals featured in those surroundings. With Google Glass, users can use their voice to input commands to take a picture or make a video, as well as to take steps less likely to compromise privacy, such as search for facts about landmarks or events.

How that privacy question plays out is yet to be seen. But concerns aren’t stoping the project – which was demonstrated at last week’s SXSW conference – from moving ahead. Google yesterday announced that the glasses will accommodate frames and lenses that match users’ eye prescriptions, for example.

Getting Google Glass to respond to voice commands and searches appears to leverage capabilities it has developed for its Voice Search App for Android, as well as its semantically-driven Knowledge Graph database of hundreds of millions of entities and billions of facts, and their relationships to each other.

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Google TV 3.0: Knowledge-Graph Smart Platform Debuts On New TV Devices

In the fall Google updated its Google TV platform to Version 3.0, touting features like its new Voice Search. This week, expect to hear about a slew of new products with the technology onboard launching at the CES show in Las Vegas.

Google recently reported on its Google TV blog that new partners added to its Google TV list include Asus, Hisense, and TCL.  LG, Sony, Vizio and others will have refreshes of their set-top boxes, integrated TVs, and IPTV boxes with the latest Google TV platform on board.

Consumers that buy into these offerings also will be increasing their exposure to Google’s Knowledge Graph. The Google TV platform’s advanced voice control for changing channels or finding content of personal interest to watch (live or via Internet streaming), its new programming guide app, and its other smarts deliver results with the help of the vendor’s own Knowledge Graph, according to GIGAOM. With the Knowledge Graph, search queries run against a database of entities and relationships — it’s the search engine’s way of, as Google says, understanding “things, not strings.”

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Nuance Adds New Capabilities to Dragon Go Semantic Search

Nuance has upped their game, reports Kevin Fitchard of GigaOM. He writes, “Nuance Communications has been trying to recreate its incredibly useful  — but rather one-trick — Dragon Go semantic search app as a full-fledged mobile voice assistant on par with Siri and the new Google Now. It renamed it Dragon Go as Dragon Mobile Assistant in October and expanded its voice command capabilities beyond search into the application stack of the Android phone, where it could compose texts, make calls, set appointments and fetch directions. On Thursday, Nuance updated Mobile Assistant’s feature set. You can now play music by telling Dragon you want to listen to a particular artist or track in your song library. You can also open third-party apps with a voice command. Another small but highly useful enhancement is the ability to set an alarm with a simple spoken command.” Read more

Windows 8 Missed Opportunity to Compete with Siri

Mark Sullivan of PC World recently posed the question, why doesn’t Microsoft have an answer to Siri built into Windows 8? He writes, “Windows 8 is supposed to be Microsoft’s majestic OS reseta dramatic overhaul designed to usher the Windows platform into the age of mobility. And Windows 8 is also Microsoft’s bid to achieve feature parity with iOS and Android, the other two OS powerhouses in the mobile universe. But one key feature–one hot, relevant, rock-star-caliber feature–is conspicuously absent from the Windows 8 repertoire: Intelligent, semantically aware voice control is nowhere to be found in the new OS.” Read more

The Star Trek Computer: Now Available from Google

Ever wish you could have the computer from Star Trek? Now you can. Jon Mitchell of ReadWriteWeb reports, “The new version of Google’s Search app for iOS is available in the App Store, and it’s a good thing, too. This app now offers Google’s version of the Star Trek computer.  Just speak a question in natural language, and Google will reply immediately with the answer. Google submitted this update to Apple in early August. It showed a demo on August 9 that blew my mind. The speed and accuracy of this app’s answers — which, of course, Android users are already used to — shows just how much Apple users are missing out due to Apple’s insistence on bypassing Google with Siri.” Read more

T-Mobile’s Genius Button Gets Smarter

Kevin Fitchard of GigaOM reports, “T-Mobile is giving its rather pathetic MyTouch voice-command feature a much-needed overhaul. It’s incorporating the same semantic-search technology Nuance uses in Dragon Go into Genius, allowing the voice assistant to search over 200 different content providers and understand intent rather than just words.” Read more

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