If you're not familiar with Nuance Communications, you're not alone. The speech and imaging firm is responsible for the voice recognition technology powering Ford SYNC, something that's been hands-off to developers creating applications for the infortainment system's new AppLink architecture. However, Ford and Nuance have officially opened up that section of the SDK to third-party devs, meaning Ford owners should brace themselves for a spate of new apps utilizing text-to-speech and voice recognition technology. Developers for iOS, Android and Blackberry can download the AppLink SDK from SYNC's developer site and get more details in the press release below.
Nuance and Ford Extend Innovative SYNC and Voice Services Platform to Global App Developer Ecosystem
LAS VEGAS (CES 2011) – January 5, 2010 – Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) today announced that its voice technology powering the innovative Ford SYNC system is available as part of the Ford SYNC AppLink SDK. Now, any third-party developer can create a Nuance-powered voice user interface for any smartphone application developed for use by SYNC – unleashing a new ecosystem of applications that enable a safer, smarter driving experience. Ford's SYNC AppLink software allows for hands-free voice control of popular smartphone applications for iOS, Android and BlackBerry via Ford SYNC.
The SYNC AppLink SDK features Nuance's voice recognition and text-to-speech technology that allows developers to fully voice-enable their SYNC-enabled applications, giving drivers the ability to command and control applications, and have information read aloud – all prompted by a simple button press on the steering wheel. The range of application ideas that can be powered by voice are endless, whether they might be to dictate messages and have them read aloud, find a local Italian restaurant and make reservations, or find the latest song by your favorite artist. Through AppLink, drivers can enjoy an array of third-party Ford SYNC-enabled applications that deliver a safer and enriched driving experience.
"Voice has proven to be among the most intuitive and natural ways to engage with devices and automobiles, and through the Ford AppLink SDK, consumers can experience the best of both worlds," said Arnd Weil, vice president and general manager, Nuance Automotive. "And because Nuance's voice capabilities are tailored for the SYNC experience, AppLink developers know their apps will work seamlessly with its interface, creating an unmatched mobile experience that delivers entertainment and minimizes distractions."
The AppLink SDK is being made available through Ford to third-party developers building apps for iOS, Android and BlackBerry. All SYNC-enabled mobile apps can be downloaded through the same app store interfaces currently used. For more information on developing with the Ford AppLink SDK, visit www.syncmyride.com/developer.
Nuance's automotive solutions, which power the speech recognition and text-to-speech capabilities of more than 30 million automobiles and 30 million personal navigation devices from the world's leading brands, provide a compelling integrated platform for today's leading auto manufacturers – empowering them to deliver smarter, safer interfaces for engaging today's embedded and connected in-car systems and content.
About Nuance Communications, Inc.
Nuance is a leading provider of speech and imaging solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with information and how they create, share and use documents. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance's proven applications and professional services. For more information, please visit: nuance.com.