Nuance Planning Voice Recognition Which Works While Your Phone Sleeps

Illustration for article titled Nuance Planning Voice Recognition Which Works While Your Phone Sleeps

Nuance, the company behind Apple's Siri, isn't content with the current state of mobile voice recognition. Instead, it wants smartphones to be able to react to voice commands even when they're asleep.


Technology Review explains that Vlad Sejnoha, Nuance's chief technical officer, believes that "within a year or two you'll be able to talk to your smartphone even as it lies idle on a desk". That would obviously make the technology much more useful: one of the big criticisms about software like Siri is that you have to be using the phone already to employ its powers—so why not just complete the task yourself?

But while Nuance's idea might not sound like a huge leap forward, think for a moment about the problems that entails. First off, you have to prevent the phone reacting to each and every noise that bombards it while it's on standby, and that means employing some sophisticated processing in order to filter out the crap. Next, you need to work out a way to do that filtering without crippling battery life.

And that's all before you even start to worry about the privacy concerns of having a phone that is permanently listening to absolutely everything you say. So, while it might be a neat idea on some levels, it's difficult to see how easy it will be to put in to practice. Show us what you've got, Nuance. [Technology Review via Verge]


Brent Rose

The Galaxy S III can do this anytime the screen is on, but battery life takes a major hit since the mic is always on and listening. I can't help but think that it would be even worse if the mic were always one even when the phone was sleeping. Fun party trick, but probably not worth the tradeoff.