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Meet Sensory TrulyHandsfree, what's behind Samsung's new S Voice

May 12, 2012

Speech recognition is a staple in today’s smartphones, no matter if your device runs Android, iOS, or Windows Phone. No matter which one you prefer, you can find a range of voice-activation utilities from useful to downright amazing. But have you ever thought about how Samsung’s new S Voice or Apple’s Siri work?

The quick (and accurate) answer is “It’s complicated”. The amount of research and work that goes into creating an effective speech recognition application is mind boggling. Speech recognition specialists need to take into account numerous factors and feed them as inputs into complex algorithms. Just think about how important it is to filter out ambient noise for an app like S Voice.

Based in Sunnyvale, CA, Sensory Inc does just that – making voice recognition smarter, so your phone can understand you in a crowded food court and not just in the quiet office of some marketing exec. Founded in 1994, Sensory specializes in voice recognition, speech recognition, and music synthesis. Its products (both software and hardware) have been integrated in products as diverse as Samsung’s smartphones, car stereos from Kenwood, and even NASA’s Mars Polar Lander.

Talking to Brad McCarty from The Next Web, Sensory’s Bernard Brafman said that the company is working on TrulyHandsfree, a technology that might really change the way we interact with smart devices.

Many devices currently implement user profiles, but switching between them is rarely seamless. Sensory promises that devices, from smartphones to TVs, will listen and know who is using them, just like you recognize the voice of a friend who’s calling, without looking at caller ID. Truly smart voice recognition might also supersede passwords, pattern unlock systems, or fingerprint readers. Just say hello to your device (don’t worry, you won’t sound crazy) and you’ll get access.

Sensory’s TrulyHandsfree technology will also make it easier to talk to your phone, even you’re in the subway or other noisy place. TrulyHandsfree recognizes dozens of keywords, and Sensory claims that its system has an accuracy of 95%, without firing at false alarms. So, when you’ll say “Hi Galaxy” to wake up your Galaxy S3, you will actually benefit from Sensory’s TrulyHandsfree.