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February 19, 2010

Loquendo ASR, TTS Solutions Now Available for Android, Maemo, Mobil platforms

By Brendan B. Read, Senior Contributing Editor

Mobile/wireless communications are literally a big driver behind speech-recognition applications. After all, who can or wants to spend 10 minutes in queue for a contact center agent when they are behind the wheel, on a train, ferry or bus, walking down the street or in their living room watching the TV?
Demonstrating excellent timing Loquendo has made its Loquendo Embedded Technologies – ASR (automated speech recognition) and TTS (text to speech) - available for OEMs and developers of multimedia applications on the hot Android (News - Alert), Maemo and Moblin software platforms. Android is reportedly first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices. Maemo is a software platform mostly based on open source code. Moblin is an open source operating system optimized for the next generation of mobile devices.
Android is available under a developer-friendly open-source license, which gives mobile operators and device manufacturers the freedom and flexibility to design innovative products. Recent arrivals to the market include Motorola’s (News - Alert) Droid, HTC’s Nexus One, and the soon to be released Sony Ericsson Xperia X10. According to IDC, shipments of handsets with the Android OS will reach 68m units by 2013, second only to Symbian. Gartner also forecasts that Android, by 2012, will rank second behind the Symbian OS.
Loquendo (News - Alert) TTS and ASR seamlessly integrate with the Android platform, offering Java-level interfaces to developers. Loquendo TTS has also been integrated into the Text-To-Speech Extended framework: this interface, once installed, makes Loquendo speech available to any Android app, allowing Android phone users to immediately upgrade to high quality TTS. The TTS interface is very simple at the API level, and all functionalities are controlled through Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) tags. By offering a fully-fledged SSML implementation, Loquendo gives application developers full control over its TTS features.
With the availability of Loquendo technologies, Maemo developers will unleash the potential of speech in developing voice-enabled apps. The Maemo platform is built on large parts of open source components, and was developed by Nokia (News - Alert) in collaboration with many open source projects such as and including the Linux kernel, Debian and GNOME. The Maemo SDK (software development kit) provides an open development environment for applications on top of the Maemo platform. Maemo is based on the Linux operating system kernel: able to support a wide range of different kinds of devices from wrist watches to large server systems, making it ideally placed for the MID (Mobile Internet Devices) and netbook as well as smartphone markets.

The Moblin platform, short for 'mobile Linux', is built around the Intel (News - Alert) Atom processor and is an open source operating system for MIDs, netbooks, nettops and embedded devices. The concept behind the Moblin project, says Loquendo is to create an operating system specifically designed for netbooks and MID devices by minimizing both boot times and power consumption. The central piece of the Moblin architecture is a hardware and usage-model independent layer providing a single, uniform way of developing such devices. Moblin is based on the Linux kernel.

Earlier this month, Intel and Nokia announced the merging of Moblin and Maemo into the Meego mobile software platform. Loquendo will also offer full support for Meego.

Loquendo TTS is natural, fluent and highly expressive synthetic speech, while Loquendo ASR is fast, accurate speech recognition even on large-vocabulary, natural-language speech. Loquendo Embedded Technologies leverage Loquendo TTS mixed language capability, support the TeleAtlas and Navteq SAMPA phonetic alphabets, and are available for all major embedded operating systems. 

Brendan B. Read is TMCnet’s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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