updated 10:50 pm EST, Mon December 20, 2010
Job postings hint at new functionality
Apple may be attempting to bring new voice-recognition functionality to iOS devices, potentially mimicking Google's Voice Actions for Android handsets. Although the iPhone maker has yet to confirm such plans, the company is currently trying to fill a number of positions for employees specialized in voice technologies.
The job listings, which are all tied to Apple's iOS endeavors, range from speech recognition engineers to a speech application engineer. The company is also looking to fill a higher position for a senior speech research scientist.
"You will work with our team on a wide variety of speech-related development activities," the listings read.
Apple's HR department explicitly calls for experience with Google Voice Search or alternative technologies such as Nuance Recognizer and IBM WebSphere Voice. Interestingly enough, Steve Wozniak recently recently fueled speculation after suggesting Apple was in the process of acquiring Nuance, although he later backtracked and contradicted his initial statement.
Google has continued to expand the voice-driven features available in Android, including the Voice Search and Voice Actions. Spoken commands can be used for a variety of actions: text messaging, music playback, voice calls, directions, e-mail, browser navigation, and note taking. The system was recently updated to recognize individual users, helping to improve accuracy over time.
The iPhone currently supports a limited number of voice functions, though the commands are limited to placing calls or music playback. [via 9to5Mac]