Nuance, the company behind Dragon Dictate and Swype, has unveiled its new project which it hopes will become a challenger to Siri and Google Now. The project, which is codenamed Wintermute – after the AI in William Gibson’s novel Neuromancer, is a cross-platform, cloud-based virtual assistant.
Because it is cloud based, the new technology is designed to move from one device to another with the user. Although it will be designed to make use of whatever computing power is available in the current device in use, its cross-platform nature means that Wintermute will be able to offer a seamless interaction with all your devices. It will even be possible to start a dialogue on one device and finish it on another.
Since Nuance will offer apps for mobile devices and is able to embed the software in smart TVs, it will be possible to ask your Android smartphone the results of a football game and then move to your TV and say “show me the game.” The cloud back-end will automatically make the contextual link between what was said to the phone and what game should be displayed on the TV.
In another scenario, you are out and about and ask your phone to play some music. As you get back to your house or office you pause the music and then when you get to your desk you can tell Wintermute (on your PC) to “play that song I was listening to.” Again, because of the cloud processing, the PC knows what song you were last listening to on your phone.
What do you think? Cool or scary?