BMW grabs Nuance TTS for in-car email, Facebook, more

Chris Davies - Sep 23, 2011
BMW grabs Nuance TTS for in-car email, Facebook, more

BMW drivers will soon be able to have their iDrive ICE systems read out messages, social network updates and RSS feeds, using the same voice control system as is expected to feature in the iPhone 5. A new deal with Nuance will see iDrive gain complex text-to-speech functionality in addition to its existing voice-dialing and music search, able to read SMS and emails – among other content – in a choice of 14 different languages.

That’s more than anyone on the SlashGear team can handle, which officially makes us less capable than a car; among the choices are both US and UK English, German, French and Italian. BMW’s ConnectedDrive system can access Facebook and Twitter, reading out new updates and messages, as well as allow you to subscribe to various RSS feeds and have new content read out to you.

Triggered by the Play button, ConnectedDrive is being billed as both a safety and entertainment system. It’ll hook into your iPhone Calendar, too, calling out your appointments for the day, week and month; while your iPhone is connected, the iDrive system can also stream internet radio.

Apple is expected to use similar text-to-speech (and speech-to-text) technology from Nuance in iOS 5, as part of the well-rumored iOS Assistant. Expected to debut on the iPhone 5, itself tipped to launch imminently, this will allow users to make spoken commands including navigation requests, new messages, media playback and more.

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