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Samsung in talks to buy voice tech firm Nuance

06/16, 3:04pm

Could have ramifications for Apple's Siri platform

Voice recognition company Nuance is in talks about possibly selling itself to Samsung, says the Wall Street Journal. Discussions reportedly began this year, but other than that it's unknown whether the two sides are making progress or even if/when a takeover might happen. If it does, however, it could potentially have a significant impact on the high-tech world.

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Nuance ships Dragon Dictate 4 for Mac

03/04, 12:34pm

App gains 64-bit code, better accuracy, transcriptions from recordings

Nuance has launched Dragon Dictate 4, a new edition of its dictation and transcription software for the Mac. The app has switched to a fully 64-bit codebase, allowing it to better exploit modern processors and RAM. Nuance says it has also improved the accuracy of voice recognition, optimizing it for newer technology.

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Intel talks RealSense at CES press conference

01/07, 2:10pm

RealSense will use embedded 3D cameras to allow for NII interface

Intel's CES press conference on Tuesday focused on the interaction between man and machine, thanks to an embedded 3D camera the company has developed in conjunction with a number of hardware partners. The devices Intel will integrate the technology into include 2-in-1 tablets, ultrabooks, touch-enabled all-in-one PCs, and other mobile devices.

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Icahn: No interest in pushing for Apple buyout of Nuance

11/19, 1:35pm

Investor tries to put rumors to rest

Wealthy investor Carl Icahn says he has no plans to push for Apple to buy out Nuance, according to a new Reuters report. Icahn spoke on the topic Monday, at the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit. "That is something I would never micromanage and never even think of telling [Apple CEO] Tim Cook," he said. "It has zero to do with the fact that I'm involved with Apple."

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Apple Boston office working on Siri technology, report says

07/26, 3:08pm

Could hint that Apple wants to replace Nuance tech

An Apple office near the MIT campus in Boston is focusing on speech technology for Siri, word from industry sources suggests. The sources tell Xconomy that Apple has assembled a small group of significant people in involved in speech technology, and is working to expand that effort in the Boston area. Online job profiles for the speech team are said to point to the Siri connection.

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Nuance acknowledges presence in Apple's Siri technology

05/30, 4:37pm

Confirms long-standing reports

Speaking earlier today at the ongoing D11 conference, Nuance CEO Paul Ricci confirmed that his company's technology is integral to Apple's Siri voice command system. "We are the fundamental provider of voice recognition for Apple," Ricci said in response to a question of whether Nuance was to blame for misheard Siri commands. The Nuance tech only handles voice recognition however, not any artificial intelligence demands.

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Report: Amazon acquires Siri competitor Evi for $26M

04/17, 3:33pm

Voice assistant app for Android or iOS

Amazon has reportedly acquired voice-assistant app developer Evi Technologies, unnamed sources have told TechCrunch. The deal, which is said to be worth $26 million, is said to be focused on Evi's mobile apps for Android and iOS, which provide functionality similar to that of Apple's own Siri technology, though both parties have yet to make an official announcement.

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Latest Swype beta gets hotwords, two new keyboards, more

10/18, 11:59am

Swype beta gets hotwords support, dictionary can be accessed from multiple devices

Nuance Communications has, once again, released a beta of its Swype keyboard for Android devices. Those who download it will now have access to the latest slang and trending words with an auto complete-like suggestion feature. To get the hotwords, users will need to sign up for updates, however.

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Nuance offers iOS, Android SDK for Siri-like Nina assistant

08/06, 12:55pm

Voice assistant includes voice biometrics for security

Nuance has released a software development kit for its previously announced virtual-assistant software, named Nina (Nuance Interactive Natural Assistant). The SDK will allow developers to add voice-based features to their apps, though Nuance suggests Nina is geared for businesses that want to automate their mobile product support, rather than providing the more general appointment scheduling and message composition services offered by Siri and Google Now.

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Nuance adds Siri-like Nina voice interface feature

07/25, 1:41pm

Nuance to offer Nina voice recognition assistant for mobile product support later this summer

A new girl is aiming to steal some of Apple's Siri voice assistant fame and her name is Nina. Nuance, the company behind other speech recognition technologies such as Dragon TV and Dragon Drive, brought out Nina, though she will cater to a different user base than Siri and Samsung's S Voice or Google Now in Jelly Bean. It will be offered to companies who wish to automate mobile product support rather than allow setting appointments in their calendars or composing e-mails or text messages.

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Swype beta update improves next-word prediction, input modes

06/20, 4:41pm

Can crawl existing email archive for accuracy improvements

Nuance has released an update to the Swype beta. The new version of the Android virtual keyboard adds more capabilities, including a new voice-text dictionary sync feature, next-word prediction, support for over 55 languages, and now four different input methods. Also introduced is crawling existing emails and texts on a device to improve word prediction.

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Nuance Dragon Drive brings voice commands to cars

05/22, 6:19pm

Technology behind Siri comes to cars

Nuance, maker of the technology that partially powers Apple's Siri digital assistant, has announced that it is bringing its natural language technology to cars. Dragon Drive will allow drivers to compose text messages, get directions, and find traffic information by speaking to their cars. Nuance's voice-command technology is already featured in Ford's Sync application, but the company looks to bring the capability to a wider range of manufacturers with Dragon Drive.

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Nuance brings natural speech recognition to set top boxes

01/09, 7:35pm

Dragon TV integrates messaging, social media, TV

Nuance Communications has unveiled Dragon TV, a voice and natural language understanding platform for TV, device and set-top box OEMs and digital service operators. Similar to Nuance's plain-language speech recognition encoded in Siri's Assistant feature, Dragon TV responds to voice commands in plain English. Viewers can find content by speaking channel numbers, station names, show and movie names. Searches by actor's name and genre are also possible.

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Swype beta brings Dragon voice control, smarter language

12/25, 3:05pm

Swype beta for Android taps Nuance for help

A new Swype beta this week has given the Android keyboard add-on its first voice recognition. Nuance's Dragon Dictation now lets users speak what they want to say without having to either switch to Google's on-screen keyboard or live with its limitations. The interface comes through a simple keyboard shortcut and doesn't replace the signature Swype interface.

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Nuance buys Vlingo, takes out Siri rival

12/20, 11:40am

Nuance takes over Vlingo

Nuance shook up the smartphone field Tuesday by acquiring Vlingo. The deal gives it a natural language voice command system available both after the fact and preloaded on phones like the iPhone 4S, which itself uses Nuance as part of its recognition.

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Apple preps solar power farm for North Carolina datacenter

10/25, 11:20pm

Apple datacenter to go green

Apple's North Carolina datacenter may soon get some of its power from green sources, a search through local permits has uncovered. The proposal found by the Charlotte Observer would have some of the 171 acres of unused area across the street from the Maiden-based plant, at 6028 Startown Road, used to set up a solar power farm. Nicknamed "Project Dolphin Solar Farm A Expanded," most details are unknown other than that Apple had to file an erosion control permit (PDF) to promise it wouldn't pollute the nearby area.

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Apple wins new patent on text-to-speech conversion

10/11, 4:25pm

Could be linked to replacing Nuance

The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a new patent for a text-to-speech conversion process. Titled Multi-unit approach to text-to-speech synthesis, the patent describes a way of matching units from an input string to an audio library. An important inclusion is metadata, such as articulation relationships, which can inform a processor how to make phrases sound more natural. The software should also support a client-server architecture, allowing remote processing.

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Nuance buys Swype for over $100 million [U]

10/06, 9:05pm

Nuance may get Swype keyboards to boost mobile

(Update: confirmed) Nuance has reportedly bought Swype in a deal worth over $100 million based on new tips late Thursday. The deal would support its existing ownership of the T9 keyboard system with an advanced, full QWERTY layout. Uncrunched in getting word of the deal didn't get Nuance's intentions.

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iOS 5 Assistant could be 'world-changing event'

10/03, 12:50pm

Siri co-founder claims tech uses 'real' AI

The Assistant voice command feature in iOS 5 will be a "world-changing event," according to Siri co-founder Norman Winarsky. Siri's technology is believed to be core to Assistant, and why Apple bought the developer some time ago. "Make no mistake: Apple's 'mainstreaming' artificial intelligence in the form of a Virtual Personal Assistant is a groundbreaking event," says Winarsky in an interview. "I'd go so far as to say it is a world-changing event."

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iPhone 5 Assistant corroborated, mocked up in video

09/30, 4:10pm

iPhone 5 Assistant given leak-based demo

The iPhone 5's Siri-based Assistant feature has been supported by separate, follow-up tips. Going so far as to contract out a concept video (below), MacRumors understands that the advanced voice command system can be invoked from nearly anywhere by a long press of the home button. From there, owners speak a natural language command for messages, searches, and other tasks, the results of which get put into a "conversation" which shows all the details.

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Dragon Go! for iOS gets support for Netflix, Spotify, others

09/30, 2:45pm

Extends range of search options

Nuance has released a major update of Dragon Go!, its voice-driven search utility for iOS. After opening the software a person can use voice to quickly navigate through a range of curated services, such as Fandango and AccuWeather. The v1.1 update implements support for several more services, most notably Netflix and Spotify.

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Nuance supports Windows Phone, adds mobile dev program

09/27, 11:45am

Dragon speech-to-text SDK on all major platforms

Nuance Communications, Inc. announced it is adding developer support for Windows Phone and a three tiered service structure to its NDEV Mobile Developer Program. The company's Dragon Mobile SDK is now available for all major mobile platforms, including Windows Phone 7.1+, iOS 4.0+ and Android 2.1+. A HTTP web services interface is also available. In addition, the company said all three service tiers will have access to eight new languages for voice recognition.

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iOS 5 gold master to reach iPhone 5 last week of September

09/12, 9:40am

Analyst tips iOS 5 release plans for producers

Apple is expected to ship the finished version of iOS 5 to manufacturers the last week of September, Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo understood from sources on Monday. The current schedule would have the iPhone 5 and fifth-generation iPod touch get the completed (gold master) OS between September 23 and 30. He explained to AppleInsider that, with preloaded firmware, the devices should take about 10 to 12 days to ship and will conveniently line up with an iPhone 5 release in the first half of October.

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Rumor: carriers getting iOS 5 with FaceTime 3G, Nuance voice

09/06, 9:15pm

Carriers may now have special iOS 5 builds

An as yet unverified rumor Tuesday has the "most prominent" iPhone carriers getting special late-beta releases of iOS 5 for testing. These supposedly differ from beta 7 in having 3G-capable FaceTime, which 9to5 understands is a "high priority" for testing. As with tethering and other carrier-dependent features, though, it might not be enabled when iOS 5 arrives.

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Nuance tech in iOS Assistant likely secondary to Siri

08/15, 10:15am

Should work with Mail, Contacts, Calendar

The Assistant voice technology buried in the iOS 5 firmware will be largely dependent on Siri technology, not Nuance's, a report suggests. The codebase, including a portion that asks to "authenticate with Siri server," is said to show that Nuance's technology will only be used for voice recognition and speech-to-text functions. The core of Assistant is believed to be the Siri technology, which will actually translate voice commands into system functions.

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iOS 5 speech-to-text shown as iCloud migration starts [U]

08/06, 9:45pm

Apple starts iCloud porting and Nuance speech

(Update: MobileMepasturage details) A pair of slips late Saturday have shown Apple moving forward in earnest with the strategies for iOS 5 and iCloud. The previously hinted at Nuance speech-to-text has turned up in a purported screen cap with a simple implementation. Much like Android, what 9to5 saw would involve a microphone on the keyboard that starts recording and keeps an overlay on top.

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Dragon Dictate 2.5 gains auto-formatting, iOS mic support

07/25, 1:00pm

Supports Word 2011 commands

Nuance has launched Dragon Dictate 2.5, an intermediate but significant update to the company's voice recognition software. Users can not only dictate text on a Mac but issue commands, such as launching an app or jumping to a particular website. One of the options introduced by v2.5 is the ability to make quick status updates on Facebook or Twitter, for instance by speaking "post to Facebook" and then the message.

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Nuance Dictation speech-to-text in iOS 5 beta 4

07/24, 6:25am

Nuance Dictation speech-to-text details emerge

It is already known that Apple will be utilizing Nuance's voice-recognition technology in the Siri-based “Assistant” feature. However, thus far little has been known about how Apple may integrate Nuance’s technology deeper into iOS to combat Android. A code string (embedded below), however, may contain some clues. Some detective work by 9to5Mac seems to have shed more light on how Apple may plan to integrate Nuance Dictation as a system-wide speech-to-text feature in iOS 5.

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Apple testing Siri built into future iOS 5 releases

07/22, 11:20pm

iOS 5 to integrate Siri with crowd-sourcing

New discoveries may have confirmed Apple's exact plans for integrating Siri. One version of iOS 5, not necessarily the launch version, should weave the voice-guided recommendation app into the OS itself as the Assistant. The functionality 9to5 saw would be familiar to Siri but use the whole hardware and software: a request to get movie tickets with a friend would work off of the GPS location, the contact list, and web information.

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Nuance deploys Dragon Go! voice search app

07/14, 12:45pm

Apple still biding time on related voice tech

Nuance has launched Dragon Go!, a new app for iOS devices. The free title runs a variety of web searches based on voice commands. Users can for instance ask for music, movie showtimes or weather forecasts.

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T-Mobile confirms myTouch 4G Slide, touts powerful camera

06/28, 7:30am

T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide has fast camera, HDR

After a very brief tease, T-Mobile has already unveiled the myTouch 4G Slide. The Android 2.3 slider is as powerful as the HTC Sensation 4G with its 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon and 1080p video but has a very heavy camera emphasis, most of all in apps. The eight-megapixel sensor is back-illuminated and has a bright f2.2 aperture; the custom software also cuts out shutter lag and adds extras not always seen on phones, such as HDR (high dynamic range), sweep panoramas, and continuous shooting.

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Nuance buys SVOX to boost voice commands ahead of iOS 5

06/16, 10:50am

Nuance takes over SVOX for natural mobile voice

Nuance gave a clue as to its future mobile plans with Apple and others on Thursday with the acquisition of SVOX. The takeover target, best known for voice commands in cars and home electronics, would spur on the effort of natural-language voice control on not just cars but smartphones and other devices.

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Nuance intros Dragon Remote Microphone for iOS

06/13, 3:20pm

Reminder of tech missing from iOS 5 beta

Nuance has released Dragon Remote Microphone, a free app for iOS devices. The software is relatively simple, serving as input for the company's Dragon and NaturallySpeaking speech recognition software. Users must be within Wi-Fi range of the target computer, and in the case of NaturallySpeaking be running at least v11.5 on a Windows system.

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Leaks show Nuance in iOS 5, new MacBook Air on Wednesday [U]

06/11, 11:45pm

Chronic shows Nuance in iOS 5 and MBA update

(Update 2: Back to School too?) A pair of leaks Saturday night by well-known source Chronic pointed to both features buried inside iOS 5 as well as hints that the upcoming MacBook Air refresh could happen next week. Internal, Apple-only builds of iOS 5 have settings for "Nuance Dictation" and "Nuance Long Endpoint," suggesting that the rumored Nuance voice recognition support thought to be coming at WWDC was just buried, not scrapped. The approach is still mostly mysterious but is expected to use Apple's acquisition of Siri to produce complex voice commands beyond what Voice Control did in 2009.

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Source: Siri tech wasn't ready in time for WWDC

06/07, 4:50pm

May only show with iOS 5 launch

The fact that Apple didn't announce anything using Nuance or Siri technology at yesterday's WWDC keynote is simply because Siri integration wasn't finished in time, according to a source quoted by Robert Scoble. Apple was forecast to use the combination of Nuance and Siri's tech to provide more complex voice functions in iOS 5, such as searching for reservations at a nearby restaurant. iOS devices currently support just a limited number of commands, related to phone calls and music playback.

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Apple-Nuance deal confirmed through Mac OS X Lion voices

05/14, 4:55pm

Apple using Nuance voices in Lion text-to-speech

Apple's rumored pact with Nuance was given confirmation Saturday after an exploration found Nuance's voices in the new Mac OS X Lion Developer Preview 3. Many of the voices added to Lion's text-to-speech conversion, such as "Moira" or "Sangeeta," are lifted directly from Nuance's RealSpeak Solo, Netputing found. Apple may have even bought out the product as part of its deal, since the demo page exists but the for-sale product has disappeared from the store.

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Apple, Nuance deal due at WWDC, said using Apple datacenter

05/09, 6:30pm

Apple and Nuance due at WWDC with NC datacenter

The rumored Apple deal with Nuance has reportedly not only been sealed but will have a unique tie-in with Apple's upcoming North Carolina datacenter. A rumor Monday claimed that Nuance's voice-to-text features are already running in the facility and would remotely process voice commands on its servers. A deal will reportedly go public at WWDC in June along with the unveiling of iOS 5, TechCrunch was told.

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Apple said talking to Nuance for voice recognition in iOS 5

05/07, 1:15am

Apple negotiates for Nuance voice command in iOS 5

Word of an Apple deal with Nuance may have gained momentum early Saturday as hints have emerged that a deal is underway. Rather than the previously dismissed buyout, Apple would forge an agreement to bring Nuance's voice recognition system into iOS, most likely iOS 5. While options were open, TechCrunch understood that the determination of Nuance chief Paul Ricci and a high valuation dependent on licenses were likely deterrents to buying Nuance outright.

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Nuance opens up Dragon speech SDK for Android, iOS apps

01/23, 2:45pm

Nuance Dragon speech SDK open to 3rd-party apps

Nuance late this past week posted the Dragon translation apps. The kit allows incorporating the engine into third-party apps on either Android or iOS devices. Features work in both directions and will convert text to speech in as many as 35 languages, or speech to text in eight languages.

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