Nuance has announced a new voice-activated virtual assistant of its own. Unlike Google Now, Samsung S-Voice, and Apple’s Siri voice assistant, the service takes a whole new approach. Nuance’s ‘Nina’ service is a product that focuses on developers, while the others target the consumer instead. The virtual assistant company has been hard at work lately, with its recent announcement of bringing its messaging services to BMW cars.
The way Nina works is it uses speech recognition, TTS, voice recognition, and Natural Language Understanding to create a virtual assistant plug-in for apps. Nuance takes the liberty of providing a set of API’s and customizable templates, a smart move that allows companies to avoid investing time and money to build their own voice assistants. By offering an SDK and some development assistance to well-known companies, Nuance makes it easier for Android and iOS apps to incorporate Nina’s services.
Since Nina tailors itself to developers only, this puts it in a unique set of use cases, such as airlines and banks. For example, a user could ask for a balance, or say something tricky like “Pay $100 from my checking account into my credit card bill next Friday.” Nina should be able to accomplish the task.
Moreover, the voice service has already landed military bank USAA, with a beta version of its app expected to released next year. When it comes to airlines, the booking process should become a bit easier, as the voice assistant lets travelers ask for flight times and alternative flights. However, Google Now can tell you this without you asking (once it learns more about you). Anyway, if you happen to be an interested company or developer, you can sign-up here.