Nuance, the company behind Apple’s Siri voice recognition, has announced the launch of Dragon TV, a new voice-control platform for television sets, amid rumors that Apple may launch a voice-controlled television sometime this year.
The new service, announced at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, allows you to navigate television content by “speaking channel numbers, station names, show and movie names” in your natural voice, and does not restrict the user to a strict set of commands.
In addition to commanding televisions using natural voice, the service also allows voice-controlled access to popular social networking establishments, such as Twitter, Skype and Facebook.
While at first it may seem like Nuance has beaten Apple to the punch when it comes to voice-activated television, Dragon TV might in face be the driving force behind Apple’s own set. The alternative, of course, is that Dragon TV could allow other TV manufacturers to compete with Apple’s rumored upcoming Siri-powered television set.
Interestingly, Nuance has not yet found a launch partner for the service (at least, not that they’re letting on about), although they claim that Dragon TV will be available to manufacturers to integrated into TV’s, set-top boxes, and remotes. The service will also feature companion apps for iOS and Android.
Most Apple “iTV” rumors have focused on the idea of Siri-like voice control, with Jobs’ comments in Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs fueling the claim, with Jobs claiming he’d “cracked” the idea of a television with the “simplest user interface you could imagine.”