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The Future of Voice Recognition for BlackBerry Devices

With the recent launch of the iPhone4S and its creepy voice recognition software dubbed Siri, there is a lot of buzz surrounding voice control implementation in your smartphone/tablet.  Like almost every phone manufacturer, RIM uses Nuance voice recognition technology in its handsets -- apple also uses Nuance to power Siri. Since Nuance powers nearly all voice recognition systems in phones, what makes Siri any different than voice activated search that is present on BlackBerry OS6/7 devices and other voice activated controls on our BlackBerrys...? The implementation.

Siri is basically the standard Nuance suite, but with improved text to speech and a larger list of recognized commands.  Most people with BlackBerrys are familiar with voice control for calls (left convenience key anyone?), that is Siri in her most basic form.  So, if Siri is just Nuance with an improved voice and more commands, then how could anyone improve upon it? The answer to that question may very well come from QNX (a subsidiary of Research in Motion).

When Research in Motion (RIM) acquired QNX© Software Systems, they got much more than just the QNX© Neutrino operating system. QNX© software runs in everything from nuclear power plants, to traffic signals, to medical equipment, to OnStar mirrors...the list really goes on and on.  In addition to that, QNX has somewhat of a reputation in the automotive industry and have emerged as a leader of in-car computing/multimedia systems. QNX's connection with the automotive industry could lead to a very deep integration of smartphones and cars. One important feature of in car computing systems is voice activated controls (for obvious reasons), and QNX© has developed a solution to improve voice control's usability.

QNX© describes their Aviage® Acoustic Processing Suite as...

a modular library of field-proven algorithms that improves the clarity, quality, and accuracy of voice communications for hands-free and speech recognition systems. Suited to diverse communication environments (including automotive, conference telephony, telepresence and VOIP), it allows customers to build a high-quality, resilient audio solution without expensive and time-consuming tuning for differing solutions within each environment.


So, with QNX© being the successor to the current Blackberry OS, could we expect to see some the QNX© solutions implemented on BlackBerry devices? Aviage processes audio reception and audio output to not only optimize the way your voice is received, but to also optimize the audio you hear.  Aviage utilizes algorithms for the cancellation of echo, wind noise elimination, and audio equalization. The implementation of QNX© Aviage Acoustic Processing into BlackBerry handsets could drastically improve the user experience and reduce the frustration many of us have experienced when attempting to use voice activated controls.

Of course whether or not RIM implements solutions from QNX© other than the Neutrino OS is unknown, I see no reason for RIM not to implement features such as Aviage. So, what do you think? Is a RIM version of Siri coming soon to our BlackBerry handsets? Do we want such a feature? Let us know!

 Want to learn more about the Aviage Acoustic Processing suite? Click here

Want more info on QNX and all of their solutions? Click here

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