Last year Apple sought to bring “natural-language voice control” to the mobile market through the iPhone 4S’ Siri. While some have complained that Siri is too limited or simply doesn’t work well enough for them, there is no question that it is a taste of things to come. Now Nuance, the folks behind Dragon Dictation (and rumored to be behind Siri although neither Nuance nor Apple will confirm the fact) is bringing natural-language voice control to the car. The company just unveiled Dragon Drive!, Nuance’s “new automotive-grade natural-language voice platform created and designed specifically for the connected car. Dragon Drive! enables automotive manufacturers and suppliers to deliver eyes-free, hands-free message dictation and direct access to content, music, and navigation – all powered by the same core technologies at the heart of Nuance’s successful Dragon Dictation and Dragon Go!”
Admittedly, this is a mixed bag. After all, when it comes to distracted driving the BEST situation is for drivers to leave their phone in their pocket and focus ONLY on driving. That, of course, isn’t happening. As a result, Nuance wants to make the situation safer through a conversational mobile assistant messaging experience that lets drivers speak, listen and respond to text messages and emails without taking their eyes off the road. For instance, with Dragon Drive! Messaging you can say
“Send a text to Anna Smith, ‘I’m stuck in traffic. I’ll be at the office as soon as possible.’”
“Listen to the email from Alex” to hear text read aloud with Nuance’s newly optimized humanlike text-to-speech;
“Reply to Alex, ‘Sushi sounds great. See you at 7.’”
In addition, the platform also lets drivers,
Find local businesses and information;
Get instant directions from anywhere;
Search and listen to any song or artist; and,
Get instant knowledge and news from the mobile Web.
As Jack Bergquist, Automotive Analyst of IMS Research notes,
As connectivity continues to push into the car, bringing with it a host of new services and features, the risk of driver distraction is becoming a key issue for every vehicle manufacturer. Vehicle manufacturers are increasingly turning to natural voice-based interfaces to simplify more complex command tasks and to provide information and data back to the driver in a way that avoids them needing to take their eyes off the road.
Dragon Drive seeks to do just that by harnessing Nuance’s natural language understanding and automotive voice technologies to create a platform that is optimized for in-vehicle use. Dragon Drive! Messaging is available in six languages including US and UK English, French, Italian, German and Spanish with additional services, languages and country markets rolling out over the course of the year. To learn more about Dragon Drive!, visit nuance.com/products/dragon-drive.