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Sensory’s TrulyHandsFree Voice Control 2.0 Portends New Apps and Possibilities

2011 July 28

With the heartfelt question, “If it’s ‘hands-free,” why do we still have to use our fingers?” Sensory, Inc. plans to launch its latest product, TrulyHandsFree Voice Control 2.0, predicated on “substantial improvements” in speech detection and recognition accuracy, resulting in expanded voice interaction capabilities. Arrival at the Android Market is slated for August 2.

As Todd Mozer, CEO of Sensory, explained to us, “version 1.0 was primarily a trigger,” meaning that its primary use involved detection of a wake-up word or phrase to activate a device or initiate a predefined interaction (like dictating an email, SMS, Tweet or Facebook posting; or initiating a mobile search). TrulyHandsFree Voice Control 2.0 adds “multiphrase” technology, meaning that it will be able to recognize and respond to a broader variety of words or phrases in order to “wake up” and respond accordingly.

The ability to distinguish spoken words from background noise is a major advancement. Rev 2.0 couples speech detection with a model for phrase recognition which enables a mobile device or toy to, in Mozer’s words, “reject the wrong words and accept the right words” in order to respond accordingly. Sensory has been working on this, more resilient “hands free” approach for a number of years. It is significantly different from Rev 1.0 of Sensory’s product as well as competing products. The additional accuracy and coincides with equally impressive advances in text-to-speech rendering and device-based speech recognition (and “understanding”). As a result, Sensory expects this approach and user acceptance to be prevalent in a two year period in cars, the kitchen and kid’s room, running on devices and products from the likes of Samsung, Mattel and others.

The technology is initially available on Android-based phones, devices and browsers. The result will be a dramatic change in user expectation regarding what end-users can accomplish without pushing any buttons.