Nuance, the speech recognition company currently powering Apple’s Siri in the iPhone 4S, announced (via TechCrunch) it would be dropping a new voice-controlled TV platform known as “Dragon TV.” Apple is —of course— expected to include Siri-like voice capabilities in the rumored Apple branded HDTV, but Dragon TV has beat them to it with a platform that will enable users to find “content by speaking channel numbers, station names, show and movie names.”

Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) today unveiled Dragon TV, a unique voice and natural language understanding platform for TV, device and set-top box OEMs and service operators. Dragon TV makes finding and accessing shows, movies and content in today’s digital living room easy and fun for consumers.

Nuance provided a few examples of what type of voice-control commands might work on the platform, such as “Go to PBS” or “Find comedies with Vince Vaughn,” but a user’s commands could include “virtually anything.” The company also announced the platform will include social and messaging features, such as email, Twitter, messaging, Skype, and Facebook. Those features will also be voice-controlled allowing a user to use voice-commands, such as “Send message to Julie: ‘Old School is on TBS again this weekend – super excited’”.

According to the press release, the Dragon TV platform is already available to television and device OEMs with support for “all major TV, set-top box, remote control and application platforms.” As for specific platforms, the press release mentions Linux, Android, and iOS. There is —of course— a possibility that the technology used in the Dragon TV platform will land in a version of Siri for an Apple TV device.

Senior Vice President and General Manager at Nuance Mobile Mike Thompson said this regarding the announcement:

“Traditional search on televisions is tedious and amazingly outdated. Dragon TV brings an amazing voice experience directly to the living room, similar to what people do every day on their phones and in their cars.”

The entire press release is available below:

Las Vegas and Burlington, Mass. – January 9, 2012 – Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) today unveiled Dragon TV, a unique voice and natural language understanding platform for TV, device and set-top box OEMs and service operators. Dragon TV makes finding and accessing shows, movies and content in today’s digital living room easy and fun for consumers. Leveraging Nuance’s voice and natural language understanding capabilities, Dragon TV creates the “lean-back experience” consumers demand, with the ability to easily find content by speaking channel numbers, station names, show and movie names. People can even search for content by actor and genre, and stay connected via Twitter, Facebook and Skype.

An estimated 1.6 billion TVs will be connected to the web by 2014 according to Strategy Analytics – and the broad spectrum of channels and media options available today are already nearly impossible to navigate with traditional TV remotes. Consumers have more options and media than they are even aware of, and still can’t find “what’s on.” Dragon TV changes all of that, giving OEMs and service operators the ability to deliver TVs, set-top boxes and applications that let consumers find and experience content with Nuance’s leading voice technologies. Further, Nuance’s natural language understanding technologies allow consumers to say virtually anything to quickly and easily discover shows, movies and more. For instance, people can say:

- “Go to PBS”
- “What’s on Bravo at 9 p.m. tonight?”
- “When is Ellen on?”
- “Watch Dexter on DVR”
- “Find comedies with Vince Vaughn”
- “Play David Guetta on Music Choice”

Dragon TV also makes it even easier to stay connected from the couch by leveraging the unique messaging and social media capabilities that today’s digital TV OEMs and operators offer, such as email, messaging, Twitter, Facebook and Skype. For instance, people can say:

- “Send message to Julie, ‘Old School is on TBS again this weekend – super excited’”
- “Send update to Facebook, ‘Anyone else looking forward to Celebrity Wife Swap?’”
- “Call John via Skype” and be talking in no time

Dragon TV is incredibly flexible, and can be integrated across embedded, connected and hybrid modes, allowing OEMs and service operators to take advantage of the content available on the device and in the cloud. Dragon TV features include:

Seamless Application Control: Digital home devices are now integrating applications for e-mail, social networking and interactive communication. Dragon TV offers a straightforward and simple method of input to drive adoption.

Discovering: A wealth of information is now available over TV, including program guide listings, personal media and web content. Dragon TV delivers an integrated, universal search solution allowing users to access content with ease.

Messaging: From social networking to e-mail, the availability of messaging applications on TV continues to grow. With Dragon TV users are empowered to interact and communicate via an integrated text and speech solution.

Accessibility: Governments and standards bodies are now mandating accessible solutions for TV. Leveraging Nuance’s core speech technologies and natural language understanding, Dragon TV makes TV accessible to everyone.

Complex Acoustics: With Nuance’s Far-Talk technology, Dragon TV is able to break through the interferences of multiple acoustic sources and focus on what’s important for interpreting commands – the user’s voice.

“Traditional search on televisions is tedious and amazingly outdated,” said Mike Thompson, senior vice president and general manager, Nuance Mobile.  “Dragon TV brings an amazing voice experience directly to the living room, similar to what people do every day on their phones and in their cars.”

Dragon TV is currently available for TV, device OEMs, operators and developers, supporting all major TV, set-top box, remote control and application platforms, including Linux, Android and iOS. For more information, visitwww.nuancemobilelife.com.

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