Nuance shows off smarter gadgets at CES

Nuance debuts ‘intelligent systems’ for smartphones, computers, TVs, and wearables.

Nuance of Burlington makes Dragon TV software so viewers can switch stations with voice commands.
Nuance of Burlington makes Dragon TV software so viewers can switch stations with voice commands.
Nuance Communications Inc.

Instead of talking about the gadgets displayed at the International CES in Las Vegas, Nuance Communications Inc. wants conference-goers talking to them.

At this year’s show, the Burlington company that makes Dragon speech recognition software unveiled a string of updated and new products designed for just that—letting consumers use voice commands to control their smartphones, TV sets, computers, and cars. These so-called “intelligent systems” aims to improve the way people use natural speech to interact with their devices. The announcements include:

Software for wearable devices. The company’s speech recognition software for mobile devices, Dragon Mobile Assistant, is now compatible with smartwatches so that users can speak into watches to activate a phone call, send an e-mail or text message, and search the Web.

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Speech recognition for the PC. An overhauled version of the Dragon speech recognition for the computers improves the way that software responds to natural language commands. With this update, according to Nuance, “you can talk to your PC as you would a personal assistant.”

Better speech recognition for TV. Nuance’s Dragon speech software for the TV now includes voice biometrics that can determine who is talking to the set. That means its smart TV software can differentiate among members of the same household, and let some access content that others—such as kids—might not be allowed to watch.

Speech technology in the dashboard. At CES this year, which has also become something of a car show with all the auto technology in display, Chrysler is demonstrating Nuance’s Dragon Drive software. With that system, drivers can use voice commands to control the on-board computer system, launching such applications as Pandora and even listen to text messages received on a driver’s cellphone.