NORTH AMERICA INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW, Detroit –– HARMAN, the premium audio and infotainment company (NYSE:HAR), and Nuance (NASDAQ: NUAN), the leading provider of speech solutions, are increasing the safe use and enjoyment of media-rich information and entertainment systems in the car by seamlessly integrating the latest in intuitive, speech-activated command and control technologies with HARMAN in-car media and audio platforms. Together, HARMAN and Nuance are pioneering solutions that leverage innovative text-to-speech and speech-to-text technologies that enable safer in-car SMS text and email messaging.
HARMAN’s latest generation of infotainment systems combine navigation and multimedia capabilities with seamless connectivity to Bluetooth™- equipped smartphones. To eliminate the visual and manual distractions of accessing and interfacing with these services while behind the wheel, HARMAN and Nuance have developed solutions that convert incoming SMS text messages and emails to voice, allowing them to be read aloud to drivers via the in-car audio systems. Drivers will also be able to respond to text or email messages by a short voice command, and have their message then delivered back to the recipient via text format.
“HARMAN is striving to bring the best advances in connectivity and multimedia features into the car for its OEM customers, while ensuring drivers keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road,” said Michael Mauser, Co-President, HARMAN Automotive. “Together with leaders such as Nuance, HARMAN is developing highly intuitive voice interfaces to support today’s connected lifestyles, while minimizing manual and visual distractions in the car.”
The two companies are also collaborating to deliver voice-to-text support for social networking applications, such as Twitter, as well as voice command support for third-party applications that include tracking your preferred stock price or the scores of your favorite sports team. To accommodate the unique language, spelling, and emoticon conventions of a “texting generation”, HARMAN and Nuance are focused on developing clear and intuitive solutions for in-car applications, leveraging Nuance’s cloud-based connectivity options.
The two companies have already introduced speech capabilities for leading auto manufacturers including Daimler, BMW and Audi, that allow for more conversational dialog between drivers and their navigation and entertainment systems, simplifying the conventional, multi-step/multi-command approach. HARMAN infotainment solutions support Nuance One-Shot Destination Entry, where drivers can enter an entire destination address in one, simple spoken command. For example, just say “Washington, Pennsylvania Avenue, 1600” and the navigation system will begin the route.
Similarly, drivers can enjoy safer and easier interaction with one-shot commands that provide easy and safer access to their music collection by saying “Play Artist Pink Floyd” or “Play Title Dark Side of the Moon”. Radio and other music playback can also be controlled via voice, allowing drivers to set favorite stations by name or frequency, and play the CD, DVD and MP3 players with simple voice commands.
“Drivers worldwide are demanding more from their in-car experience,” said Arnd Weil, vice president and general manager, Nuance Automotive. “They want increased functionality that doesn’t come at the cost of safety. By working with leaders such as HARMAN, we’re able to seamlessly integrate conversational speech capabilities that allow drivers to take full advantage of today’s connected and media-rich systems, and make them safer and easier to use.”
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: www.nuance.com.
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 11,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.5 billion over the twelve months ending September 30, 2010. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE: HAR.