Speech recognition company Nuance (which powers part of Apple’s Siri), is launching its new “Dragon TV” platform today, which will allow consumers to interact with their TV using their voice and natural language. With Dragon TV, you’ll be able to speak channel numbers, station names, plus TV show and movie titles, without having to use structured commands. You’ll even be able to perform content searches by actor/actress and genre. Support for Twitter, Skype and Facebook is also included.
The Dragon TV platform will be made available to OEMs and service operators who can choose to integrate the technology into to TVs, set-top boxes, remote control and other applications. However, the company did not announce any launch partners for the product, only its availability.
The timing of the announcement – today at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas – is interesting. Recently, rumors of Apple’s forthcoming TV product, which many expect to include Siri or some other sort of voice recognition app, have been heating up, following the late Steve Jobs’ proclamation that he had “cracked” the challenge of creating an easy-to-use integrated TV.
Dragon TV would be an alternative to a completely integrated solution, as it would allow anyone to build in Siri-like voice technology into TV sets, DVRs and other set-top boxes. However, it could easily form the backbone of whatever Apple may have in store for its “iTV” product, too.
According to Nuance’s announcement, you’ll be able to navigate your TV by saying things like “go to PBS,” “What’s on Bravo at 9 tonight?,” “Watch Dexter on DVR,” “Find comedies with Vince Vaughn,” and more.
The Dragon TV platform also integrates with social networks, allowing you to send messages and posts updates by voice, the company explains. For example, “Send update to Facebook, ‘Anyone else looking forward to Celebrity Wife Swap?’” (Uh, no.)
Nuance says Dragon TV will run on Linux, Android and, of course, iOS.