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Pocket GPS at CTIA Wireless 2009 | Nuance Speech Solutions Interview - Talking Technology

nuance-gpsSpeech solutions company Nuance Communications are currently demonstrating their products at CTIA Wireless 2009, Las Vegas. Nuance are based in Burlington, Massachusetts and predict their 2009 revenue to exceed a billion dollars.

All of the top 10 personal navigation device manufacturers use Nuance speech and they claim that over a billion mobile devices will include their speech technology within 3 years.

To continue our series of interviews that we are running alongside Pocket GPS's own visit to CTIA we asked Arnd Weil, Automotive and PND Business General Manager, about Nuance's GPS related work.

Arnd Weil Nuance Q:Who are your customers?
A: Nuance's automotive speech solutions have been successfully implemented in more than ten million cars worldwide, representing more than 100 automobile models from more than 25 automobile brands from all major car manufacturers, including Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, Hyundai and Mercedes as well as quality Tier 1 suppliers, such as Alpine, Bosch Blaupunkt and Microsoft.

Nearly all of the major portable navigation device manufacturers, including TomTom, Mio, Medion and Navigon, are already delivering improved safety and ease of use with Nuance's speech recognition and text to speech software. In fact, there are 10 million that have shipped to date with Nuance's technology - including the new TomTom GO Live 740 that features more than 130 speech recognition-driven commands.

Q: According to a study by Maix Research and Consulting, eight out of nine speech-enabled car owners regularly use voice recognition systems for control and guidance on the roads. Why do you think drivers find 2-way speech solutions so important for navigation devices?
A: Nuance's speech technology addresses the need for short and user friendly dialogues and leverages a robust and extremely comprehensive database that captures hundreds of thousands of street names, and features multilingual input support for destinations in foreign countries.

We address the challenges of integrating speech technology by offering several different solutions, including means of handling ambient car noise and a very large vocabulary size within the given central processing unit constraints; dealing effectively with the multi-lingual issues inherent in speech-enabled navigation features; and ultimately, delivering a more natural driver interface without compromising system accuracy or performance.

We are also addressing one-shot destination entry, where drivers can simply say in one phrase the address, street and city, reducing the amount of confirmations with the system.

Q: Nuance cites driver safety as a significant benefit, can you expand on this?
A: As personal navigation devices grow in popularity and gain recognition as essential tools for today's mobile consumer market, speech can add considerable value in terms of both safety and ease of use.

Speech can be used to simplify information input, provide audio feedback, and reduce driver distraction. More specifically, speech technology enables voice destination entry, and through synthesized speech capabilities, delivers detailed spoken driving instructions that reduce the wrong turns, aggravation, and wasted time often associated with navigating through unfamiliar areas.


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