Business, Software Programs

Nuance and IBM team up to bring voice recognition to 10 key industries


Nuance Communications is mostly known for its Dragon Naturally Speaking application, without the doubt best voice recognition software on the market – but the company wants more. This former subsidiary of IBM announced second joint-agreement with its former owner.

The first agreement touched the subject of patents owned by Nuance, but this second agreement now aligns IBM with Nuance in a bid to put voice recognition software in ten key industries. What makes this announcement important is that this time around, each and every industry is targeted individually, and the approach is from service perspective, rather than selling an app.

The 10 focus industries are as follows:

  • Automotive
  • Banking
  • Electronics
  • Energy and Utilities
  • Healthcare and Life Sciences
  • Insurance
  • Media and Entertainment
  • Retail
  • Telecommunications
  • Travel and Transportation

The focus of development will be taking the unique needs of each and every industry in order to speed up the interaction between customers and agents.

Target is very simple – why risk your life while navigating the complex systems such as Audi’s MMI, BMW’s iDrive etc. – if you can simply say what you want. Nuance and IBM plan to implement advanced computers that have enough computational power to detect variations in voice and enable safer utilization of car’s systems. In short, this is somewhat an unique opportunity not just for companies like IBM/Nuance or Audi/BMW/Mercedes and other top car manufacturers – but also for companies like AMD, Intel or nVidia and even Microsoft. By proper combination of a CPU and a GPU, you could get much wanted 10-100x performance boost in voice recognition, and a 500 MHz quad-core Opteron or Xeon with GPGPU-geared GeForce or Radeon GPU could crunch those complex algorithms.

The companies will now have a joint approach to the market, with Nuance patents and technologies from one side, and IBM Global Services from another.

Also worth noting is that Nuance Communications is turning into quite a giant – the company acquired 16 companies after its merger with ScanSoft in 2005. Prior to that, ScanSoft acquired 19 companies. Overall, this 6000 strong company is still looking for its first year with billion dollar revenue, but with this deal with IBM, they can look at a potential of becoming a company with annual revenue in the range of 4-6 billion USD.