Nuance Wintermute hands-on: a cross-platform, cloud-based personal assistant

Written by Digital News on . Posted in News from the Web

Nuance Wintermute hands-on

It's becoming increasingly clear that the next wave of mobile computing is going to be voice driven. Mobile assistants like Siri and Google Now are garnering plenty of media attention and earning legions of fans. Nuance, the company behind Dragon -- often cited as the gold standard in voice recognition software -- wants to make sure it doesn't get left behind after pioneering the art of speaking to your computer. Dragon Mobile Assistant was the first step towards that goal, but it stuck primarily to searches and a few simple tasks. After leaving our stage here at CES, the company was nice enough to take us back to a suite where it demoed a project codenamed Wintermute. Besides throwing a bone to William Gibson fans, the project aims to make Nuance's personal assistant truly personal and platform agnostic by building a profile of individual users in the cloud.

While clearly very much in the early stages, what we saw was none the less impressive. The mobile app, was able to easily recognize queries such as "what is the score of the Celtics game" and obey commands like "play music by the Rolling Stones." Nuance even threw in a bit of snide, Siri-like personality -- the assistant quipped about the rep being too young to listen to the Stones. That response was obviously triggered by the fact that the app knew Sean Brown, a senior manager at the company, was born well after the band's hey day.

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