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Nuance and Intel team on Dragon Assistant Beta for Ultrabooks, Dell XPS 13 to lead the charge

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
September 12, 2012
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Intel at CES promised a partnership with Nuance to give Ultrabooks a taste of ready-made voice recognition, and we're finally seeing the results at IDF in San Francisco through the launch of Nuance's Dragon Assistant Beta. As the name implies, this isn't just a voice dictation engine like that in Naturally Speaking: chatty users can delegate common tasks like playing music, reading social network updates and searching the web. The beta isn't immediately available as of this writing, but it should go live soon and will be a core part of of Ultrabook software bundles in the near future, starting with the Dell XPS 13 this fall. We're wondering why Intel is focusing its Dragon Assistant efforts solely on thin-and-lights -- the company still makes money from portlier PCs, after all -- but we won't mind as much given the simultaneous launch of a Perceptual Computing SDK 2013 Beta, which lets developers work Dragon recognition into their own apps. More details await after the break.

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Nuance Announces Dragon Assistant Beta, a Voice Application for Intel-Inspired Ultrabooks

Dragon Assistant Lets People Speak to their PC to Search the Web, Find Content, Play Music, Check and Reply to Email, Update Social Network Statuses and More

San Francisco and Burlington, Mass. – September 11, 2012 – Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) today announced the availability of Nuance's Dragon Assistant Beta, a voice assistant application for the Intel-inspired Ultrabook ™, the first offering resulting from the two companies' strategic collaboration announcement at CES 2012. Dadi Perlmutter,Intel chief product officer, demonstrated Dragon Assistant Beta today at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. The Dell® XPS13 Ultrabook will be among the first PCs to ship with Dragon Assistant Beta in Q4 2012.

Dragon Assistant uses Nuance's core Dragon voice technology and innovative natural language understanding capabilities to provide people with an easy and intuitive way to engage and interact with their devices. Simply say "Hello Dragon" to awaken Dragon Assistant, and from there, just speak to search the web for content, information and shopping; access, discover and play music; check and reply to email; and, listen to and update social media statuses. Dragon Assistant also provides direct access to the most popular content providers for content on the web. For instance, people can say "Search YouTube for Justin Bieber." When finished using Dragon Assistant, simply say "Go to sleep" for the application to stop listening.

Intel also today announced the availability of the Intel Perceptual Computing SDK 2013 Beta, which includes the voice SDK components from Nuance, giving developers the ability to leverage the power of Dragon to create applications and experiences that drive natural, intuitive voice interactions.

"Dragon Assistant is a direct result of Nuance and Intel's vision for a more human, natural interaction between people and their technology. You speak and the Ultrabook responds. Working closely with Intel, we've created a voice assistant experience optimized for the Ultrabook – incredibly fast, reliable, and with the performance you expect from a combined Nuance-Intel innovation. Dragon Assistant drives productivity, creativity and simply a PC experience that fits today's busy lifestyle," said Peter Mahoney, Chief Marketing Officer, Nuance Communications.

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