Nuance Confirms Providing Dragon TV Voice Control Technology to Samsung; Is Apple TV Next?

Voice control is the future for devices, as highlighted by the popularity of the iPhone 4S. The Apple iPhone’s Siri speech-powered personal assistant is reportedly one of its most marketable features. Other device makers are likewise banking on voice control, such as Samsung, with their latest smart TV sets.

Samsung's ES8000 LED TV is powered by Nuance Dragon TV Voice Technology (Photo copyright Abe Olandres/Yugatech)

British company Nuance has confirmed that Samsung uses their technology in powering their Smart TVs, which uses voice commands and body language to communicate with the viewer. Gone are the days when a viewer would have to fumble with a complicated remote control. Nuance’s Dragon TV interface uses a “natural language understanding platform” to let users remotely control TV sets.

Tech Wire Asia contributor Abe Olandres got the chance to review Samsung’s latest flagship TV sets, the ES8000, which features voice and gesture controls. The TV responds to commands that start with “Hi, TV” which may be well the standard way to talk to your TV in the future. The South Korean company is, after all, the top-selling TV brand to date.

If Nuance had its way, its voice recognition technology will probably make its way to more devices in the future. The platform is actually rumored to be powering Apple’s Siri, although neither company will confirm it. But this leads to further speculation in yet another potentially important business for Apple — the Apple TV. The rumored device gained renown again with the Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ biography, in which he said TVs were the future for Apple.

More than just remotely controlling your TV set, though, Nuance’s Dragon TV can be used to look for online content and to communicate through an Internet-connected TV. “Consumers can use natural voice commands to change channels, search for content on the web… and connect with friends and family via Skype,” says a Nuance statement.

Nuance has likewise partnered with Japanese TV maker Panasonic in providing voice-control for its Viera television sets. Nuance also has existing partnerships with Ford and T-Mobile for automotive climate control and text-to-speech services, respectively. Nuance also owns other non-voice technologies for mobile phones, such as Swype and T9, meant for making text input on touchscreens and numeric keypads easier.