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Nuance Joins Open Handset Alliance

Enterprise Mobility Featured Article

November 05, 2007

Nuance Joins Open Handset Alliance

TMCnet Assignment Editor

In the not-to-distant future you will be able to control most if not all of the basic functionality of your PDA or handheld computing device using simple voice commands.

Leading the way in this new and emerging field is speech recognition technology vendor Nuance (News - Alert) Communications.

In its continuing quest to be the leader in mobile speech applications, the company today announced that it has joined the Open Handset Alliance (News - Alert) – a new wireless industry group with a unified goal of giving developers all over the world a chance to deliver customized mobile applications that will revolutionize the mobile experience via a single, open platform.

Nuance, which is already a leader in the development of applications enabling voice-activated operation of mobile devices, plans to be a significant contributor to the further development of “Android,” the Linux-based mobile platform announced today by the Alliance. Nuance is among the 30 or so firms participating and has already begun in earnest to build mobile applications with basic voice command functionality in U.S. English for this new and exciting open mobile platform.

“Our participation in the Open Handset Alliance (News - Alert) will help us capitalize on the intense interest carriers and device manufacturers have shown for mobile speech technologies and services,” said Steve Chambers, president, mobile and consumer services division, Nuance, in a press release. “Working with the Alliance will introduce speech applications to a global developer community and open new markets for our mobile business. We believe our collective efforts can unleash the true potential of the mobile phone and create opportunities for Nuance to accelerate the adoption of mobile speech.”

According to the release, Nuance plans to ultimately offer a complete portfolio of language models, services, applications and advanced technology programs built around “Android.” This includes the roll out of next generation mobile speech technologies and tools. With these, developers will have the opportunity to build on the basic speech foundation within Android by upgrading to state-of-the-art speech engines and components, language packs, and tools based on Nuance’s industry-leading speech technology.

Nuance will also introduce new mobile speech search and mobile messaging applications. The mobile speech search apps will enable users to surf the Web on their mobile devices using just voice commands, as well as the ability to launch applications, send files and perform a host of other basic operations without the need to key in commands. Further, Nuance Mobile Messaging will deliver functions such as such as SMS and email dictation, email read-out and voicemail-to-text.

Of course, these wouldn’t be complete without the introduction of Nuance’s Mobile Professional Services, which will offer developers the services they need to develop, optimize and deploy robust mobile speech applications built on top of the Android platform.

None of this comes as much surprise to those of who have already been following Nuance closely: The company -- which has been growing by leaps and bounds through acquisitions and newly formed partnerships in recent months -- is already blazing its own trail in the mobile speech applications space. In September it announced the release of its Nuance Voice Control (NVC) solution -- a one-click mobile search and messaging application driven entirely by natural voice commands. The application comes pre-loaded on the Palm Treo 755p smartphone, thus enabling Sprint (News - Alert) subscribers start using it as soon as they take the wraps off their new PDAs. This was preceded by its announcement back in June that it was acquiring of Tegic Communications Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL (News - Alert) which develops embedded software for mobile devices. Through this deal Nuance gained Tegic’s T9 predictive text input software and other next-generation integrated text and touch input solutions, thus rounding out its portfolio of voice-enabled applications for device control, mobile search, email and text messaging. And in April the leading speech technology vendor also strengthened its presence in the mobile market when it announced its acquisition of BeVocal, a provider of on-demand self-service customer care solutions designed to address the unique business requirements of the mobile communications market and its customers. These strategic moves leave little doubt that Nuance plans to be a leader in mobile speech recognition technology.

To learn more about the Open Handset Alliance, check out some of today’s articles on TMCnet:

Open Handset Alliance: Much More Than A Google Phone
Sprint Joins Open Handset Alliance

The Alliance’s official Web site can be found at:

For more information about Nuance visit


Patrick Barnard is Associate Editor for Customer Interaction Solutions magazine and Assignment Editor for TMCnet. To see more of his articles, please visit Patrick Barnard’s columnist page.

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