During the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, ZTE announced a brand new partnership with Nuance that will bring the company’s famous voice recognition software to ZTE’s upcoming smartphone family. The first devices to offer voice interaction will be launching this year, with support for more than 25 different languages and a new “Car Mode” app designed for use behind the wheel.
Voice recognition has been making its way into phones for as long as I can remember. In fact, one of my first cellphones, an Ericsson T28, had the ability to make calls using voice commands, and that was back in 2000. However, voice interaction in smartphones has really taken off since Apple wowed us with Siri back in 2011.
Now every smartphone manufacturer wants its own voice integration. ZTE, with help from Nuance, will be adding the feature to its own smartphones this year. The company has kept the specifics close to its chest, but it has released some information.
What we do know is that ZTE’s voice-assisted smartphones will initially support more than 25 different languages. One of their most interesting features is a new Car Mode, which will allow drivers to perform certain tasks on the road without taking their hands off the wheel.
Like Siri’s “Eyes Free” mode, Car Mode will enable users to make calls, read text messages, and control their media using just their voice. Not only that, but ZTE promises the feature has been designed to work well in noisy automotive environments, and it won’t require a network or data connection. So even when you’re out in the middle of nowhere with no signal, Car Mode will still function.
Expect to see ZTE’s new Nuance-powered smartphones in the coming months.