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January 12, 2016

Your Car Wants To Chat - VoiceBox

Talking to a machine and having it DO what you asked it to has long been the stuff of Sci-Fi. Early implementations of voice control interfaces have been clumsy at best. Some interfaces catch on quickly and people fall in love, look at the iPod, Google, Telephones and Tivo. The power of a good interface can enchant people and allow the underlying device to become part of every-day life. Poorly designed human interfaces on the other hand can spell disaster or at least a storm of consumer complaining, which in marketing IS a disaster. BMWs I-Drive, Bluetooth, and many VCRs are great examples.

VoiceBox has shown that they know how get people to what they need in their car without making them overly enunciate or get lost in needlessly complex voice navigation menus. Just speak normal and the system will, through context and learning patterns, know what you want. Yes, it LEARNS. Remember that scene in Terminator 2, when after seeing the kid find car keys in the visor, the Terminator learns that is a possible solution? Something like that but without the grenade launcher.

This is only one of a number of announcements leading into CES this year. About a week ago XM announced an agreement with Voicebex for future voice controlled satellite radio systems.

I'm looking forward to a world without buttons.

Press Release:

Johnson Controls and VoiceBox Technologies Collaborate
to Deliver Conversational Voice Search to Automotive Market
Companies Sign Multi-Year Agreement to Enhance Johnson Controls™ Telematics Portfolio with Intuitive Voice Navigation Capabilities

DETROIT, MICHIGAN (January 12, 2016) Johnson Controls, Inc. (NYSE: JCI) and VoiceBox® Technologies Inc. today announced a multi-year deal to provide conversational voice search and retrieval features on Johnson Controls™ BlueConnect® wireless mobile device gateway to the automotive market. Product availability and details around specific rollout will be announced at a later date. The telematics voice search capabilities, which include Bluetooth® hands-free dialing and in-vehicle music navigation, are some of the many innovations featured at Johnson Controls™ product and technology exhibit at the 2006 North American International Auto Show.
The agreement names VoiceBox as the exclusive supplier of conversational language technology for Johnson Controls™ telematics portfolio. This relationship combines Johnson Controls™ global leadership in automotive interiors and electronics with VoiceBox™s expertise in voice search and conversational language processing.

VoiceBox™s voice search capabilities will enable our customers to optimize the use of Johnson Controls™ BlueConnect technology by offering a more intuitive user interface, said Jim Geschke, vice president and general manager of electronics, North America for Johnson Controls. We selected VoiceBox after extensive testing because of its distinct, accurate and reliable voice user interface platform that allows users to speak in a natural informal way when operating in-vehicle devices such as navigation and music management, particularly in noisy car cabin environments.
We™re delighted to be working with a leading, global provider of advanced telematics products, said Mike Kennewick, CEO and chairman of VoiceBox Technologies. Our conversational voice search and navigation technology will perfectly complement Johnson Controls™ robust telematics offerings and will enable users to simply say it and get it, without struggling with complex menus or the need to memorize voice commands.
The foundation of VoiceBox Technologies™ product is based on advanced algorithms called Knowledge Enhanced Search and Speech Recognition (KESSR), which dynamically create searches and queries based on context and user intent. Simply put, the technology allows the user to speak in free form and will determine context and intent from the dialogue, and then executes a search without requiring the user to memorize exact commands. Consistent and highly accurate recognition rates for complex utterances in noisy environments make this technology particularly appealing, and also sets it apart from the often-frustrating experience users have with current technologies on the market.

VoiceBox® Technologies offers the world™s first conversational voice search platform, called the VoiceBox Navigator Platform„¢, enabling breakthrough conversational search and navigation of digital content from any mobile device and from any IP network. A key differentiator for VoiceBox™s Navigator Platform is that it consistently achieves a remarkable level of task completion searching across multiple content domains through its Knowledge Enhanced Search and Speech Recognition (KESSR) algorithms, which determine the context and intention behind the words spoken by the user. Intelligent queries and searches are then dynamically executed based on such context and user intent. The VoiceBox Navigator Platform runs on various embedded, desktop and server systems for applications such as music and media, navigation and driving directions, directory and hands-free dialing, and control over digital devices. VoiceBox, headquartered in Kirkland, Wash., develops and sells rich conversational language and voice search applications for the automotive, digital home, mobile phone and VOIP markets. More information is available through the Web site found at http://www.voicebox.com.
Johnson Controls is a global leader in interior experience, building efficiency and power solutions. The company provides innovative automotive interiors that help make driving more comfortable, safe and enjoyable. For buildings, it offers products and services that optimize energy use and improve comfort and security. Johnson Controls also provides batteries for automobiles and hybrid electric vehicles, along with systems engineering and service expertise. Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) has 136,000 employees in more than 1,000 locations serving customers in 125 countries. Founded in 1885, the company is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For additional information, please visit www.johnsoncontrols.com.

Johnson Controls
Debra Lacey
(734) 254-5735

VoiceBox Technologies
Scott Snelling
(425) 246-0954

(Media only)
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide
Tara Gajadhar
(425) 638-7073

Posted by Lionel Felix at January 12, 2016 06:00 AM

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