Nuance Nina to put Siri into any app

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Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon

Nuance has announced the availability of a software-development kit (SDK) for a new voice-recognition software that it's calling Nina, offering developers the opportunity to incorporate Siri-like natural language recognition into any app for iOS and Android.

To be clear, Nina itself isn't an app for users to download. Instead, it is a collection of APIs bundled together into an SDK that can be licensed by application developers for use in the apps they are working on. The SDK includes natural speech-recognition capabilities, so that users can navigate tasks within an application by using common, everyday phrases. Deciphering speech takes place in the cloud on Nuance servers before delivering results back to the application over the air.

The Nina SDK also incorporates voice biometric security that Nuance has been developing, which can be used in place of typed passwords for applications requiring high levels of security, including banking apps. In apps that don't require passwords, the same voice biometrics can be used to identify who is speaking. A multiplayer game using voice could be played without passing a handset back and forth, for example, with the software identifying players simply by listening to who is speaking.

Developers can choose voice packs in English with either a US, UK or Australian accent, or can opt for a custom TTS option to give their application a unique voice. The SDK is available now, so hopefully we'll start to see apps take advantage of its capabilities in the very near future.

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