Speech recognition giant Nuance has made their share of plays in the mobile space before — they acquired Vlingo last year and pushed out their Dragon Go! voice command app to both iOS and Android.
Their latest mobile endeavor, Dragon ID, is a little different — its main draw is that it’s capable of recognizing distinct voices and using them to authenticate users and unlock devices.
It turns out that Dragon ID is quite the polyglot too, as the service is capable of recognizing voice input in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Simply saying “Hello Dragon” in any of those languages unlocks the phone and allows users to dive into their content.
Their demo video (seen below) is where things start to get a little confusing. Instead of just a voice print authentification service, the video paints a portrait of Dragon ID as (yet another) intelligent assistant capable of reminding users about meetings and making snarky quips about playing Angry Birds.
It could be a puzzling show of how Dragon ID could integrate with something like Nuance’s Dragon Go! voice command app, though many of the commands issued in the video don’t work (yet?) with the app. Dragon ID also appears capable of managing different user accounts and homescreens, functionality that doesn’t yet exist on most consumer smartphones and tablets. Features like that would explain why we the people won’t be able to download Dragon ID any time soon.
Voiceprint identification is an interesting concept to say the least, but Nuance points out that they’re making Dragon ID available only to “consumer device OEMs” for the time being — no word on who they’ve reached out to so far. Interestingly enough, Nuance also notes that Dragon ID will be available for “Android and other platforms,” which of course raises the question of who else has the option of running with the service. Apple is likely off the table for obvious reasons, but Nuance hints that the voice recognition could soon find its way to PCs so Microsoft and their ilk could be potential users of this service going forward.