Virtual personal assistants are all fun and games until you’re forced to talk to them like you barely know English. You know how it goes: “Find food.” But thanks to SoundHound, those days will soon be behind you.
You probably heard of SoundHound by now, and it probably rings a bell as the song-identification app that isn’t Shazam. Hear a song and you want to know which is it? Open the app and let it find it for you. Got a few lyrics stuck in your head? Just hum it and SoundHound will tell you which artist is to blame.
So far, the free app has enabled 260 million downloads, and it has got a new app launching in beta mode on Android-only. SoundHound enters personal assistant market with Hound, which will be available in iOS version this summer, allowing you to change Siri for a new service.
You could say Hound resembles Siri – it can also help you to send texts, set your alarm or give directions – but the designers at SoundHound have created something more complex than that. No more mono-syllabic commands, because Hound can process a very long voice instruction in no time.
It can make sense of incredibly complicated commands, which cannot be said for Siri and other personal assistants. If you say “I need to book a hotel room the day after tomorrow near LA for less than $400 and it needs to have a free Wi-Fi and breakfast included,” and Hound will give you a list of results matching your needs.
Founder Keyvan Mohajer has made a public demo of the service, proving that the only limit to the data it can process is how long you can talk while giving the instruction – and all of this delivered by the app without any delay.
In an era where we have any information we want in our pocket at all times, Hound comes and helps you make sense of it all by doing its research at incredible speed. Unlike most speech-recognition systems, Hound doesn’t need processing time to collect, synthesize and process voice input – it does it all in one swift move.
Its speed is caused by an on-going search and re-search that updates with each new command, a process that works in sync with your voice. Mohajer, Hound’s creator, says he’s particularly interested in searches involving recipes. The goal is to get Hound to offer you a recipe based on a list of food ingredients you give, such as “I have some sausage, bread and some chicken broth.”
Hound has already got some serious competition, though, with Siri, Cortana and Google Now crowding the market as it is. And these are just the major services, because there are so many personal assistants that help you get things done by talking to your phone.
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