Feature Article

December 22, 2011

Dragon Voice Recognition Coming To Android

Nuance Communications has recently begun providing access to its Dragon Naturally Speaking software development kit (SDK) to mobile developers seeking to build apps for the iOS and Android platforms. With the SDK, developers will be able to integrate speech recognition capabilities into their mobile applications and/or create “speech aware” apps.

And it looks to be paying off. Nuance recently purchased Swype, maker of an alternative keyboard for smartphones, and they will be introducing the Nuance Dragon voice recognition on the latest Swype Android app.

Despite an increasingly wide range of virtual keyboard apps, Swype remains a popular option for many Android users, primarily because of its baked-in status on a wide variety of high-profile phones and tablets.

Swype’s software keyboard lets you swipe the phone with your fingers to type to text instead of having to hit each individual key. This new update has replaced Google’s voice recognition for Nuance’s Dragon Dictate technology, which supports English, Spanish, Italian, German, and French – allowing the long-running speech to text software to directly input to text fields.

The new beta version also includes better contextual awareness, allowing the keyboard’s text prediction engine to more accurately predict your next word based on the language of the current system.

Michael Crider, writer for Slashgear, explains “So, if you’ve typed ‘meet me at the…” and Swype’s internal parameters are choosing between restaurant and restitution, it will know which one is more likely to be what you want,” said Crider.

The app is currently available for download now and prospective beta users can request access to the download. Crider said he would have liked to see the beta work with some of the newer model phones.

“Unfortunately, the new beta does not work with the Galaxy Nexus, thanks to the increased 720p resolution and Ice Cream Sandwich’s virtual navigation buttons. But, this is Android, if Swype doesn’t do it, somebody will,” said Crider.

Earlier this week, Nuance announced that it would acquire its voice recognition competitor Vlingo, which could lead to some massive improvements in its dictation software down the line.

Edited by Chris DiMarco

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