Automotive > In-Vehicle UX Blog

Voice Barge-In & Hands-Free Triggers to Further Improve In-Vehicle Voice Experience

by Chris Schreiner | Nov 03, 2010

Nuance, which dominates the in-vehicle voice recognition space, made great improvements in embedded voice recognition user experience in the MyFord Touch. While the embedded voice experience in MyFord Touch sets a new standard, there is of course always room for improvement. Nuance, to their credit, does not appear to be standing still and recently demonstrated new technologies at last week’s Nuance Automotive Forum in Detroit that can reduce some of the other issues that consumers have with speech systems. The most impressive technology was voice-barge-in. Voice-barge-in has long been discussed as the ideal solution to resolving issues some users face in not waiting for the beep to begin their utterance, and frustrations expert users suffer in having to wait for long prompts designed for novices. Instead, users will be able to interrupt prompts by speaking the next command without having to press any buttons. While the demonstration took place in a conference hall there was ample background noise from other attendees to test it out. The technology worked very well in successfully identifying an attempted barge-in without any false positives triggered by ambient noise. If it works as well in an automotive environment, it can solve some of the user experience issues users still face with voice HMI. Meanwhile, Sensory Inc. has developed a trigger SDK that allows for a truly hands-free experience. Sensory Inc.’s system is continually listening for a specific trigger word which launches the voice HMI and allows the user to interact with the system without ever pressing a button. Sensory Inc. has had their technology designed into BlueAnt S4 speakerphones, Moshi hands-free car kits, and other products. They have also recently released an SDK for iPhone and Android smartphones. In a demo experience on my Android phone, the hands-free trigger worked remarkably well with varying types of background noise. While this advancement doesn’t necessarily resolve critical user experience issues with voice HMI, it does provide a compelling experience that could draw more users into adopting voice. - Chris Schreiner Related Automotive Consumer Insight reports: - MyFord Touch Has Compelling Embedded Voice HMI - Voice HMI: Connected Car Opportunities and UX Best Practices
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