voice control

Pebble watches brings Nuance Voice Recognition to the public

Pebble watches brings Nuance Voice Recognition to the public

This week Pebble has brought Nuance Voice Recognition to Pebble Time, Time Steel, and Time Round users. Nuance is powering Pebble's new Dictation API, allowing developers to create voice-friendly apps of all sorts for all of the 2nd-gen Pebble users in the wild. Pebble apps will be able to work with voice recognition and push all manner of commands to apps that do many fine things, like control your smart house and flying your drones around the countryside.

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Nucleus brings intercoms, video calling to the smart home

Nucleus brings intercoms, video calling to the smart home

Nucleus (the name of both the company and the product) is a new device that aims to combine the best of video calling and home intercoms with voice commands. The mini tablet can be mounted to wall or just placed on a counter or table, and be used to connect and communicate with others in just seconds, bypassing even the steps that FaceTime and Skype users must go through before getting into a call.

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Try this: Google app now supports offline Voice Commands

Try this: Google app now supports offline Voice Commands

Perhaps in preparation for full smart home utilization, Google has begun allowing offline voice commands on Android devices. This feature is only available for Android smartphones and tablets using the official Google (search) app, and commands are relatively limited. This feature will appear when a user has the Google app open without internet connectivity, showing a number of commands available offline. Lucky you, one intrepid Android user happened to be speaking to his device while it wasn't connected to the web.

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Amazon Echo update reads news headlines so you don’t have to

Amazon Echo update reads news headlines so you don’t have to

Amazon has just released a software update for its internet-connected, voice assistant-powered Echo speaker that brings several new options to the list of voice commands it can follow. Probably the most impressive is the ability for it to read news headlines when asked, but the update also includes improved controls for smart home set ups, along with in-depth settings for alarms and timers. The new software version is available now to Echo users.

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Amazon Fire TV looks set to get Echo’s Alexa

Amazon Fire TV looks set to get Echo’s Alexa

Amazon looks set to add Alexa voice control to its Fire TV set-top box, inviting over the digital assistant from Echo to read audiobooks and even do shopping. Although Amazon is yet to announce any such integration, signs of the upcoming functionality were spotted in the Fire OS 5 developer preview by AFTVnews.

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Dragon Anywhere brings Nuance dictation to iPhone and Android

Dragon Anywhere brings Nuance dictation to iPhone and Android

Nuance may be part of the voice recognition magic behind Siri, but its latest product, Dragon Anywhere, promises to outclass the speech-to-text skills of both iOS and Android. The new app focuses on those who expect uninterrupted dictation from their mobile devices, along with full document editing, formatting, and even distribution done by voice. Ambitious, not least because both Apple and Google have baked some of those technologies straight into their platforms; I caught up with Nuance's Peter Mahoney, CMO, to find out more.

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Android users can replace Google Now with Cortana

Android users can replace Google Now with Cortana

In terms of a third-party app achieving success on a smartphone platform, there's probably nothing better than getting set as the default application for a specific task, whether it's the browser, email client, or messaging service. That's why Microsoft has scored a big win with its latest beta of digital assistant Cortana for Android, as users can choose it over the built-in Google Now. This comes shortly after the initial beta rollout of Cortana for Android.

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Use Cortana to control your Android phone from Windows 10

Use Cortana to control your Android phone from Windows 10

Cortana is now almost everywhere, thanks to Windows 10 bringing Microsoft's smart assistant desktops and tablets. While there have been indications that Cortana will indeed come to Android smartphones, that might still be a long time coming. What if you wanted Cortana to let you control your smartphone, or almost anything else, hands-free and only using your voice? Good thing, then, that Android already has all the needed tools to make that happen and, with a bit of trickery, rope in Cortana into it as well.

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Apple may soon have Siri transcribe voicemail messages

Apple may soon have Siri transcribe voicemail messages

According to a new report, Apple is said to be working on integrating voicemail into iCloud, bringing about some of the biggest advancements since visual voicemail on the first iPhone. This information comes from Business Insider, which says the primary feature will be Siri's ability to transcribe voicemails into text, letting users read their messages instead of listen to the audio. Even more interesting, this iCloud Voicemail will deliver custom messages to select callers, and even let them know the user's location.

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Amazon Echo’s weirdest talent is making you feel heard

Amazon Echo’s weirdest talent is making you feel heard

Amazon’s Echo is a lot of things - shopping companion, music player, portal to Wikipedia - but its most surprising feature says more about human comfort with next-gen electronics. Echo’s cleverness is in the cloud; the black column of its local hardware is really just a gateway to that remote functionality. Yet it also has to satisfy a few core requirements, such as demonstrating attentiveness. The solution Amazon came up with is both simple and elegant.

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Amazon Echo can now control your lights thanks to Wink

Amazon Echo can now control your lights thanks to Wink

Amazon Echo, which others lovingly refer to as Alexa, is a rather odd duck. Unlike other cloud-based voice-activated assistants, you can't take it around with you, as the cylindrical contraption is rooted in your home. Until recently, it was also quite limited in the things you can do. Ironically, shopping by voice was added only later on. Now it's getting a bit more talented however, not through its own power but by hooking up with Wink. Now you can confidently say "Alexa, dim the bedroom lights" with a wink.

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Google Translate opens this fridge to give Canadians free beer

Google Translate opens this fridge to give Canadians free beer

Marketing gimmicks are nothing new, but like Amazon's new Treasure Truck promotion, the really creative, original ones are pretty cool. In this case, it's from Molson, the Canadian beer maker. They had a special refrigerator built that runs Google's speech recognition and translation software, making it capable of recognizing as many as 40 different languages. As Molson's new commercial video shows, the fridge was left in public, encouraging people to open it by simply saying "I am Canadian." But it's not quite that easy.

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