Newark, NJ-based iSpeech may be best known for its DriveSafe.ly app and the mobile SDK it launched last summer, but now the company plans to bring its speech expertise to a different environment — your home.
Today iSpeech announced the launch of a new voice recognition platform called (what else?) iSpeech Home for hardware manufacturers and OEMs to integrate into their household gadgetry.
“Speech is the user interface of the future,” said iSpeech COO Yaron Oren, who was quick to cite Siri as an influence.
Oren and the iSpeech team seem to take umbrage with the complex and confusing interfaces that have a habit of appearing in household electronics. Should iSpeech’s vision come to pass, users will eventually be able to issue verbal commands like “record ‘Doctor Who’ season premiere” to their televisions, or “turn off the lights in the dining room” to their home automation system.
Sure, voice controlled home automation isn’t exactly a new concept, as more than a few companies (not to mention plenty of devoted hobbyists) have put together their own solutions in recent years. The difference here is that iSpeech’s platform is capable of capturing and interpreting more natural voice commands, as opposed to simply relying on a preset list.
It sounds like potentially wonderful stuff, but as usual, it all comes down to adoption. If the voice recognition platform doesn’t pick up any steam among OEMs and hardware manufacturers, then there goes the ball game. That said, iSpeech already seems to have made some progress on that front. According to Oren, the company has already met with nearly a dozen companies (though he wouldn’t specify which ones) about iSpeech Home, all of whom are in “various stages of evaluation.”
Given that major consumer electronics players like Samsung and its eternal rival LG have pushed to make the living room smarter with a host of voice-recognizing televisions, it comes as little surprise that iSpeech’s platform has gotten the most attention from other television manufacturers. Makers of thermostats, security systems, household appliances have also expressed their interest in the platform, and with any luck we’ll soon be chatting with our dishwashers with wreckless abandon. Be prepared for a bit of a wait though, as Oren expects to have iSpeech Home-friendly devices trickle into the market within the next 6-12 months.