Nuance launches voice-controlled television with new Dragon TV platform

“Nuance, a speech recognition company that [in=part] powers Apple’s Siri service, has launched a new voice-controlled platform for television sets called Dragon TV,” Killian Bell reports for Cult of Mac.

“The service allows you to navigate your way around different content by ‘speaking channel numbers, station names, show and movie names’ using natural language,” Bell reports. “With Dragon TV, you won’t be restricted to structured commands, and like the Siri service in the iPhone 4S, you’ll be able to use natural language to control your set.”

Bell reports, “While the service may allow manufacturers to compete with an upcoming Siri-powered Apple TV, it could also be the engine that drives Apple’s set.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Wait for Apple.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


  1. First of all, I don’t see how you can get much less restrictive than Siri, which is also billed as using the “natural language model”. Dragon’s spokespeople should choose their language a little more carefully; Siri put these people on the map.

    That said, being able to call up “Doctor Who” and get a list of show times would be sweet as hell.

    1. …”you won’t be restricted to structured commands, and like the Siri service in the iPhone 4S, you’ll be able to use natural language”…

      Nowhere did he indicate that they are less restrictive than Siri. He clearly said that they are EXACTLY like Siri, with natural language interface.

  2. I can see it now. Watching the game on channel 33 and at a critical juncture, the wife asks how many biscuits hubby wants with lunch…… “2” he says…. and the tv changes to channel 2..

    “33” he yells……. Then the wife says “You want 33 biscuits”??
    Whats wrong with you…. and Don’t yell at me!!!

    Well, you get the idea. lol

    1. What’s even worse is when you’re watching a big game and a fantastic play happens. You yell, “Oh my God!” or “Jesus!” and the TV changes to a show with people Tebowing ….

  3. Companies often do defensive buying, taking over a company just so a competitor doesn’t buy it and either lock them out or fuel a competing product. I still do not understand Apple’s failure to do this with certain companies. In the wrong hands, there is more than one company purchase by a competitor which could hurt Apple.

  4. I just do _not_ want to talk to a remote, sorry. It’s bad enough how often I talk back to the TV, period. I do want a remote that _knows_ what my TV has available, though, and will let me switch, instantly, to other channels or sources, with a preview function in the remote itself, and have it able to control _any_ other device connected. Big pluses would be one-touch contrast/brightness and, yes please, auto-mute for commercials, and some way to block certain programming (not channels), like religious crap and ‘reality’ TV.

  5. My understanding is that Nuance’s speech recognition is just that – speech recognition. Siri’s is “powered” by the artificial intelligence, which is the thing that differentiates Siri from simply voice recognition. Therefore, I suspect that Dragon TV will not have the same breadth of ability that an Apple HDTV would have with Siri.

    1. Since I do not have insight into Apple’s plans and future products, I share your trepidation. However, Apple can come to market later and still succeed, because Apple jumps in when it is ready, not just to make a publicity splash. Besides, Apple’s plans and approach may be entirely different, involving iOS devices as remotes for the AppleTV, etc. Apple’s would-be competitors might very well be barking up the wrong tree (as usual).

  6. I guess it’s going to work similar to Siri, but aimed at the TV landscape. For example you hold down a button on the remote then state “Find me a show not involving Simon Cowell in any way”. After a couple of days the TV will finally locate something, probably on a shopping channel, and change you to it.

  7. Of course the huge problem with speech recognition is:
    Ambient noise

    I hope the microphone for this setup is on the remote and NOT on the TV. That is one reason Siri works so well: The mic is at the mouth. Tossing the mic out into the world at large = hell.

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