Rival to Siri could enhance app accessibility

Error message

Deprecated function: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in include_once() (line 14 of /home/mediacc/public_html/themes/engines/phptemplate/phptemplate.engine).
Thursday, 9 August 2012 11:24am

A voice-activated virtual assistant tool called Nina could improve the accessibility of smartphone apps. Developed by Nuance Communications, the rival to Apple’s Siri will give users the option to use their voice to perform tasks on their phones, increasing usability for people with a disability.

This week, Nuance released the software development kit so developers can begin to integrate Nina into their apps. The virtual assistant technology can be used across both Android and Apple iOS apps.

Similar to Siri, available on the Apple iPhone 4S, Nina allows users to use voice commands to access features and perform tasks within apps. Using the tool, people can perform tasks such as dictating messages and setting reminders eyes-free. In addition, Nina uses voice biometrics technology to recognise a user's voice as unique so that it can be used for security purposes such as for a password.

Because Nina is an add-on app, a range of businesses could potentially include voice-prompt features in their apps, making them accessible to blind or vision impaired users. Technology news site ITWire reports that in Australia, Nuance is targeting government, telecommunications companies, banks and airlines as the first to adopt the technology for their apps. 

Nuance have provided a video which demonstrates how users can perform voice commands such as paying bills, making money transfers and retrieve information like flight schedules and availability.


Top of page