Nuance Communications has just launched Nina – a personal assistant service for apps. Nuance has released a Nuance virtual assistant SDK, which can be used by developers to offer a Siri-like virtual assistant feature in their apps.
This is an interesting development as Apple’s Siri currently works with only built-in apps and third party services such as Wikipedia, Yelp and Wolfram Alpha.
We were hoping that Apple will introduce APIs for Siri in iOS 6, which would allow developers to integrate their apps with Siri. But as you know, that didn’t happen.
Since Nuance powers Siri’s back-end, this is the next best thing for developers who are looking to add Siri-like virtual assistant feature to their apps, especially for customer service apps.
Here’s an excerpt from the press release:
Nina is significant because it is the first virtual assistant customer service app to incorporate both speech recognition and voice biometrics into a single integrated solution. Nina is also the first solution that provides an open software development kit (SDK) to support the rapid integration of virtual assistant capabilities into existing mobile applications. In addition, Nina is the first to allow organizations to brand their own virtual assistant persona, including the visual appearance and implementation of optional custom TTS voices.
Nuance has announced that USAA, a leading financial services provider has integrated Nina virtual assistant in their mobile app. USAA and Nuance plan to start the pilot in August. They plan to release the app featuring the Nina virtual assistant early next year.
The Nuance Virtual Assistant SDK is available to developers in US, UK and Australian English, with additional languages to be made available later this year.