CES 2018: SoundHound’s Houndify Voice AI platform powers conversational experiences across connected speakers, robotics, Augmented Reality, wearables


SoundHound Inc., vendor of voice-enabled AI and conversational intelligence technologies, announced on Tuesday several integrations of its Houndify voice AI platform into products across multiple Internet of Things (IoT) categories: automotive, connected speakers, robotics, appliances, augmented reality experiences, smart home and wearables. Some of the companies showcasing Houndify integrations include Hyundai, HUMAX, BUNN, Mayfield Robotics, AvatarMind Robots, Modiface, PhotoSpring and Onkyo.

Demos of their products will be shown at CES 2018 in Las Vegas this week.

Intelligent Personal Agent, Hyundai’s new voice-enabled virtual assistant system powered by Houndify, introduces a futuristic driving experience where the system’s proactive assistant can predict drivers’ needs. Drivers can seamlessly control features of the car, including air conditioning, sunroof, and door locks, with voice commands.

The Houndify platform makes it possible to combine an array of driver conveniences, including making phone calls, sending hands-free text messages, searching for destinations, refining previous searches, playing music, checking weather, and managing schedules. The experience also supports “Car-to-Home” service, enabling drivers to interact with their smart home devices from the car.

Houndify is an independent AI platform that enables developers and business owners to deploy a conversational interface anywhere and retain control of their brand and users, while differentiating and innovating. Houndify provides all the technology ingredients necessary for voice and AI integration, including the world’s fastest speech recognition, the most sophisticated natural language understanding, easy to use developer tools, knowledge graphs, and a large and rapidly growing number of domains.

Domains are programs that provide a natural and fully conversational interface on specific topics, without requiring the users to memorize and use the specific phrasing of hard coded commands or skills.

Houndify technologies represent more than a decade of R&D and innovation by SoundHound Inc., resulting in significant and unique advantages.

Key advantages include SoundHound’s patented Speech-to-Meaning and Deep Meaning Understanding technologies, which deliver unprecedented speed and accuracy in voice recognition and responses, and understands context, such as the user’s location or previous queries, to support natural interactions.

More than 60,000 partners have registered on the Houndify platform since its launch in December 2015, and more than 1,000 distinct products are being Houndified. Strategic partners include the Samsung ARTIK Smart IoT platform, and NVIDIA, which brings Houndify’s large vocabulary speech recognition and natural language understanding to cars even without cloud connection by utilizing NVIDIA GPUs.

Other Houndify partners include integrations with Sharp’s RoBoHoN platform; Rand McNally, which uses the company’s voice technology in its OverDryve connected car device; and 11 car makers around the world.

HUMAX, manufacturer of digital set-top boxes, smart home and gateway solutions, connected devices and network solutions has partnered with SoundHound to provide a personal voice assistant integrated into a new AI speaker with display functionality.

Leveraging SoundHound’s Houndify platform, users can make compound and complex queries, and ask follow-up questions without needing to provide context. Users of the new HUMAX speaker will also benefit from Houndify’s ongoing expansion of functionality and domain knowledge without ever needing to activate new “skills.”
Houndify helps Kuri, a cute and adorable home robot, both hear and understand a variety of commands like: “Hey Kuri, tell me a joke,” “go home,” “play my favorite song.” The AvatarMind’s iPal Robot integrates Houndify’s voice control for directing movement of the robot and general voice assistant features, including the ability to follow up, refine a query, and more. It can also be customized for particular commercial or educational use cases.

Utilizing accurate beauty AR engine from Modiface, mobile devices such as the iPad can become magic mirrors as customers test makeup virtually. Through an integration with Houndify, the Modiface Makeup Application becomes voice-enabled. For example, users can simply say, “Show me green eyeshadow,” or “add red lipstick and pink blush,” and the application shows them what they would look like with those makeup effects. Modiface technology is used by top beauty brands around the world, including L’Oreal, Sephora, Estée Lauder and MAC.

PhotoSpring is redefining the digital photo and video experience by helping people stay connected to the people they love. The easy-to-use, WiFi-connected, touchscreen digital frame automatically uploads and shares photos and videos from iPhone, Android and other web-connected devices. Now, with the Hound voice assistant, users can say “OK Hound, show me my albums,” and ask about the weather, local restaurants, set timers and more.

Onkyo exhibits a wearable smart concierge device that is worn around your neck and features a voice assistant. Users can simply speak, hands-free, to activate an assistant, search, navigate, play music and send text messages.

“Conversational voice interfaces represent the next shift in how we interact with the devices around us and the user behavior of speaking to things will quickly become an integral part of our daily lives,” said Keyvan Mohajer, cofounder and CEO of SoundHound. “Houndify’s platform-agnostic approach allows companies across all verticals to quickly and easily embed a robust conversational voice interface into their products — while still maintaining their brand’s identity — and we’re thrilled to add these new partnerships to our portfolio.”

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