While the keyboard has been effective for inputting data on the computing devices we use daily for some time, speech recognition technology has the potential to increase the level of efficiency by several folds. As speech recognition technology improves and the adoption rate continues to increase, the keyboard will eventually be replaced by a microphone. The Nuance speech to text software is one of the most recognized, accurate, and widely used platform in the marketplace. Of course, this technology can work in the opposite direction, converting text to speech, as well.
Mercedes-Benz's new app has applied Nuance Dragon Drive technology to provide text-to-speech for reading online news articles in some of its vehicles. Mercedes-Benz is providing this service for owners who have the COMAND Online option installed in their vehicle. Drivers will be able to listen to articles from several news channel outlets without having to take their eye off the road. This option gives the driver total control of the news they choose to consume without commercials or any other interruptions from broadcast stations. This feature is available on Mercedes-Benz models sold as of June 2013.
The application supports more than 20 languages including: UK and US English, German, French, Italian, Castilian Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese, Korean, and Arabic.
The application reviews top stories in different categories such as domestic and international news, top news, and content-based selections such as economy, politics, or technology. It uses the Nuance intelligent expressive text-to-speech technology to read out the news with humanlike voices. The driver has the option to preselect the information in order to customize the news that will be delivered while driving.
Nuance is an adaptive technology that keeps learning as more words and phrases are introduced to the platform. This ability is what consumers appreciate about this product.
The long-standing collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and Nuance Communications has led to the technology being implemented as part of the carmaker's infotainment system with options such as voice dialing, voice destination, and music search entry.
"The Mercedes-Benz News App is yet another way our powerful voice capabilities are keeping drivers informed and connected without adding dangerous distractions. Nuance’s expressive text-to-speech creates a more natural and personalized experience for consumers, while providing automakers like Mercedes with an incredibly humanlike voice that is well-integrated with their brand experience," said Arnd Weil, vice president and general manager, automotive, Nuance Mobile.
COMAND Online is a comprehensive multimedia navigation platform that provides Internet access through mobile phone connection and other services that can easily be accessed using the central controller dial, the multi-function steering wheel, or through an integrated Linguatronic voice-activated control system.
Edited by Blaise McNamee