Nuance talks up transcription, security and mobile services

Multiple voice transcription and natural language searching within websites is on the way, claims firm.


Nuance is gearing up to launch a slew of products over the coming months, including transcription tools designed to save public sector bodies and enterprises time and money.

The voice-to-text system under development by Nuance will be able to distinguish individual participants, using equipment such as directional microphones.

Voice will become the default UI for devices as people become less conscience of it.

"The system will be able to separate everyone's voice, transcribe the text and even add hyperlinks to the transcript so people reading it will be able to listen to the audio at that point," said John West, mobile architect at Nuance told IT Pro.

"This will be particularly useful for organisations, such as the police, as anyone reviewing the transcript will be able to hear the tone of voice of a suspect, for example.

"We're currently working on the prototype and it will be coming to variety of environments in the next six months to a year," West added.

Meanwhile, Scott Wickware,vice president and general manager for northern Europe at Nuance, confirmed the company is working to enhance the role voice plays when using the internet.

"Many firms, including telco's, have a massive investment in the web. Natural language works well in this space, so we are looking to bring voice-activated searching to individual websites.

"Our Prodigy FAQ service will be coming to the UK and will deliver accurate responses to questions.

"If a mobile customer goes on their network's website and asks; "How do I enable my voicemail?", instead of just bringing up a stream of results with the words voicemail in them, the natural language system will understand the meaning and direct them to the relevant page," he explained.

Wickware was also keen to talk up the security benefits of voice, claiming that voice-based biometrics are "more secure than facial recognition and is second only to a retina scan".

From an end user perspective, Nuance is confident that services such as Apple's Siri and Samsung's S-Voice will shed their tag of being a gimmick software.

"When we first had mobile phones, people were saying that no-one would use a phone on a train. Now you can't stop them. The same will apply to voice recognition," said West.

"Voice will become the default UI for devices as people become less conscience of it, [and] they will start to dictate messages, or searches.

"You'll see an Android device around Christmas time with enhanced voice recognition capabilities," he concluded.

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