Apple's New Data Center Focus of Nuance Voice Recognition Partnership?

164243 nc data center

Late last week, we reported on claims that Apple is in discussions with voice recognition firm Nuance Communications regarding some sort of partnership presumably linked to rumors that Apple is integrating significant voice capabilities into iOS 5.

TechCrunch now follows up to report that the deal seems to revolve around Apple utilizing Nuance's technology in its new North Carolina data center to drive centrally-hosted voice services. The partnership is said to likely be introduced at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) early next month.

In digging into the information about the relationship between the two companies, we had heard that Apple might actually already be using Nuance technology in their new (but yet to be officially opened) massive data center in North Carolina. Since then, we've gotten multiple independent confirmations that this is indeed the case. And yes, this is said to be the keystone of a partnership that Apple is likely to announce with Nuance at WWDC next month.

More specifically, we're hearing that Apple is running Nuance software - and possibly some of their hardware - in this new data center. Why? A few reasons. First, Apple will be able to process this voice information for iOS users faster. Second, it will prevent this data from going through third-party servers. And third, by running it on their own stack, Apple can build on top of the technology, and improve upon it as they see fit.

As was reported previously, Nuance is a leader in voice recognition technology and holds a number of key patents in the field, making Apple's interest in a partnership a natural fit given its acquisition of Siri last year and rumors of the company trying to incorporate aspects of voice recognition and artificial intelligence into its systems.

Top Rated Comments

ipedro Avatar
128 months ago
iOS5's killer feature: Real time conversational voice recognition

voice recognition is so useless and dumb, can u imagine all those ppl talking to their gadget on the tram

Short sighted people are always amusing to point at when everybody's adopted the new technology they said was useless and dumb just months prior to it becoming a hit.

Voice recognition hasn't taken off for a couple of reasons:

1 - It's not quite accurate enough so you have to speak at an unnatural speed and tone.

2 - Current technology is mostly one way so you still have to view the screen to communicate properly because you can't yet trust that the system will be correct within an acceptable ratio.

Apple's acquisition of Siri solves both of these.

Imagine having a conversation with your iPhone without thinking in pre-determined commands and being confident that it understands you and will act appropriately.

Instead of:

- Click and hold a button
- Wait for prompt
- "Play Song 'Beat it' "
- Verify that it got it right

- Begin next command...

You'll be able to do this:

"iPhone, play 'Beat it', make an appointment for lunch with Wendy on Tuesday at noon. Oh, also I need to get groceries today. I need potatoes, pasta, steaks and apples and send this to my wife too."

iPhone replies: Playing 'Beat It' by Michael Jackson. I've created an iCal appointment for 12pm this Tuesday for 'Lunch with Wendy'. I've set up a Task named "Groceries" and listed "potatoes, pasta, steaks and apples" and have shared it with Debbie.

This kind of real time interpretation requires a lot of power and constant refinement not possible in a battery powered mobile device. Instead, a small file containing a mono audio snipit can be sent to Apple's servers, interpreted and commands sent back within a few seconds, making this possible.

Look to iOS5 as being the beginning of a true personal assistant that you can speak to but that is also able to speak with you in a natural conversation.

Apple was indeed years ahead of the competition with the introduction of the iPhone and I doubt they've been sitting on their hands waiting for Android to catch up.

They've been working on the next killer feature that will once again push the boundaries and propel Apple way ahead of the pack. This type of conversational speech recognition definitely has the ability to do this.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mr.steevo Avatar
128 months ago
Hello, Computer?

Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dethmaShine Avatar
128 months ago
If this helps in Phone Sex, I'm in bitch.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DavidLeblond Avatar
128 months ago
Based on all the rumors, what DOESN'T the NC data center do?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Glideslope Avatar
128 months ago
Kirk: "Mr. Spock, full sensor scan of object".

Spock: "Computer, structural analysis, and make up of object to port of Enterprise".

Computer: "Computing".

Computer: "Object appears to contain early 21st century remains of Humanoids."
"There appears to be a digital recording encoded on silicone." "Mossberg, our friend, is no longer writing good things about us."

Spock: Looks at Kirk, and raises 1 eyebrow. :apple:
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
juicedropsdeuce Avatar
128 months ago
Yeah, I couldn't even imagine people talking to their PHONE in public.... :rolleyes:
:D

Hopefully my phone will only respond to my voice, or if I walk past ipedro on the street my phone might start playing Michael Jackson's Beat It.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
iphone 12 pro display video

BOE Rumored to Supply iPhone 13 Display Panels After iPhone 12 Failures

Monday February 22, 2021 9:54 am PST by
Display manufacturer BOE will be one of the main suppliers of OLED panels for iPhone 13 models, according to a new report today from Taiwan's Economic Daily News. BOE is said to be working with touch panel manufacturer General Interface Solution (GIS), part of the Hon Hai Group to develop OLED panels. Multiple iPhone 12 rumors suggested that BOE would supply some panels for the devices,...
mac security privacy

Apple Takes Step to Prevent Further Spread of 'Silver Sparrow' Malware on Macs

Monday February 22, 2021 6:13 am PST by
Over the weekend, we reported on the second known piece of malware compiled to run natively on M1 Macs. Given the name "Silver Sparrow," the malicious package is said to leverage the macOS Installer JavaScript API to execute suspicious commands. After observing the malware for over a week, however, security firm Red Canary did not observe any final payload, so the exact threat to users remains a...
jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
whatsapp privacy banner

WhatsApp Reveals What Happens to Users Who Don't Agree to Upcoming Privacy Policy Changes

Sunday February 21, 2021 1:11 am PST by
WhatsApp has revealed how it will gradually limit the features available to accounts held by users who do not accept the platform's impending privacy policy changes, due to come into effect on May 15. WhatsApp's new banner explaining the privacy policy changes According to an email seen by TechCrunch to one of its merchant partners, WhatsApp said it will "slowly ask" users who have not yet...
new airpods leaked image 52audios

Alleged Leaked Image Claims to Show Third-Generation AirPods and Case

Sunday February 21, 2021 2:49 am PST by
A new image claims to offer our first real world look at Apple's next-generation AirPods. The image, shared by 52audio, showcases both AirPods and the charging case for what the site claims to be the third iteration of the wireless earbuds. 52audio has in the past shared images claiming to showcase different parts of the third-generation AirPods. Most notably, the site in November shared...
anker magsafe powercore battery pack

Anker Releases MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack for iPhone 12 Lineup

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:49 am PST by
Following rumors that Apple is working on a MagSafe battery pack for iPhone 12 models, popular accessory maker Anker has beaten Apple to the punch with the release of its PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank. First previewed at CES 2021, the PowerCore battery pack magnetically attaches to the back of any iPhone 12 model and provides 5W of wireless charging. With a 5,000 mAh capacity,...
iPad Pro Mini LED

New iPad Pro and MacBook Models With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Taiwanese company Ennostar will begin production of Mini-LED backlight units for an upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the late first quarter or second quarter of this year, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. Ennostar is a holding company that was jointly established in January 2021 by LED-related manufacturers Epistar and Lextar Electronics. Apple is expected to unveil the new ...
14

iOS 14.5 to Make Zero-Click Attacks 'Significantly Harder'

Monday February 22, 2021 9:05 am PST by
Apple's impending iOS and iPadOS 14.5 update will make zero-click attacks considerably more difficult by extending PAC security provisions, according to Motherboard. Apple has made a change to the way in which it secures its code in the latest betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to make zero-click attacks much harder. The change, spotted by security researchers, has now been confirmed by...