Siri technology is coming soon to more apps, fridges and even robots

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Your smart life is about to get even smarter with a new set of software development tools that will let coders include world-class speech recognition and natural language processing — the same stuff that powers Siri, Apple’s personal digital assistant — to thermostats, refrigerators, apps and, yes, even robots

The folks at Nuance have created a new system, currently in beta, to allow any company to include code with language commands that are specific to their hardware or apps. It’s called Nuance Mix, and anyone can sign in and create their own speech-recognition code to work with their apps or connected devices.

“Any developer, big or small,” Nuance’s Kenn Harper told us during a demo of the SDK, “can come in and define a custom set of use cases. You’re going to start talking to everything at home and work – speech is about to get more ubiquitous.”

As Nuance’s Mobile Director of Product Management, Harper’s excited about the new crop of devices coming to our homes. We’re seeing more connected thermostats, fridges, home control devices, music streaming apps and speakers, robots, entertainment, virtual reality and wearables come to market, said Harper. Most of these devices won’t even have a screen, and they’ll all need a user interface.

“For the first time,” he said, “we might see voice becoming the user interface of choice.”

When you sign up for Nuance Mix beta as a developer, you get access to a robust set of coding tools that allow you to build a set of speech recognition with natural language parsing technology that applies to your own specific hardware and software requirements. A thermostat needs a vastly different set of commands than a refrigerator does, and a home robot needs something even more completely different.

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