Nuance is a company that has been around for a long time producing software for computers and other devices that allows voice interaction rather than typing. Over the years, Nuance has expanded its software from something available on computers for people who don't want to type for one reason or another to being used in cars and on many mobile devices. Panasonic and Nuance have now teamed up to make smart TVs even smarter.
Panasonic has announced that its new 2013 lineup Smart TVs can now listen and speak using the Nuance Dragon TV platform. Using Dragon TV, viewers can use their voice to find content, search the web, control volume, and perform other interactions with the TV. The Dragon TV platform also features a text-to-speech function.
This function allows television content and options on the screen to be read aloud. That should make using the TV much easier for people who have limited vision or difficulty reading. The Dragon TV platform is a voice and natural language understanding platform designed specifically for the smart TV environment. The Dragon TV platform is also available for set top box OEMs and service operators.
The platform lets users do things like change the TV channel using their voice, find a favorite movie using voice search, or locate programs or movies by a specific actor and surf the web all using voice commands. Having used Nuance software exclusively on my computer for years, I can say that typically there are a few caveats to using Dragon software. Namely, the software does routinely have problems understanding some spoken commands and makes some irritating word substitutions regularly. However, that really depends on the environment, your voice, and any accent present.