Nuance will release an SDK for its voice services and this could lead to a series of Android and iPhone apps that can leverage your voice.
On its developer page, Nuance says:
Our Dragon Mobile SDK is easy-to-integrate and accessible to anyone interested in enhancing their applications with speech input and text-to-speech output. We offer many language options and helpful resources to assist you in the development process.
The Nuance SDK also gives you access to the company’s speech servers, as well as help integrating it into your apps. For end users, this could mean that you’ll be able to interact with more apps simply using your voice.
I think this is a smart move by Nuance, which is powering many of the voice-controlled functions in many phones. In general, the company wasn’t facing much competition but it is seeing some strong challengers over the last few years.
Google has poured a lot of money into its voice services and this is bearing fruit with things like Voice Actions, which allows users to send e-mails and search the web by talking. It’s only going to be a matter of time before these deep voice services are integrated into the core of the Android operating system.
Apple spent about $200 million to acquire the voice-powered personal assistant Siri. We’re expecting Apple to build in strong voice functionality into future versions of the iOS software.
It’s not just the big guys either, as Vlingo continues to innovate by combining voice-controlled actions with integration with social services like Facebook and Foursquare. I’ve always said that it will only be a matter of time before Vlingo is acquired by a large handset maker.
So, Nuance is seeing a crowded field but getting a strong developer audience could make it invaluable. We’ll keep an eye on what type of apps emerge from this SDK.