Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startup Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startups, parties, and interesting people. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, and Google+.
Nuance Communications today released an update to its Dragon Mobile Assistant app for Android. Users with supported devices will find that it now includes hands-free driver technology, voice notifications, and new customization options.
Dubbed “Intelligent Driver Mode”, the updated version of Dragon helps users keep their eyes on the road when they’re driving and not on their phone. The company says that its app will know when the driver is in a moving vehicle and, when detected, will switch them to a hands-free mode.
Of course, it’s going to be pretty difficult to tell whether someone is actually driving or just riding in the passenger seat. However, the intent is a good one and anything that helps minimize the amount of distractions can’t be bad, right?
If you’re not familiar with the Dragon Mobile Assistant application, it’s a service that leverages Nuance’s voice recognition technology. The app was originally only available to those with Android 4.0 or newer installed, but last December, the company made it available to those with a minimum of 2.3 or higher.
The increased reach not only enables it to further its reach, but perhaps is a move by Nuance to help protect drivers from unnecessary distractions. Yes, we’ve all done it — taken out our smartphones when there’s a ding, phone call, or need to send a note to our friend letting them know that we’re going to be late. Protection isn’t limited to just those with the latest technology and opening Dragon to more devices could help save lives.
Nuance’s General Manager and Executive Vice President Michael Thompson said in a statement, “Dragon aspires to be an incredibly reliable and intuitive mobile personal assistant, not only responding to commands and providing relevant content, but also anticipating people’s needs in the moment — just like a true personal assistant.”
In addition to driver mode, Dragon has also been updated to include voice notifications that will transcribe Facebook status updates, messages, incoming calls, and even calendar events.
For those that love to customize these voice applications, Dragon users can tweak the command to activate the app. After all, it would be strange having to enable a voice service using your hands, right? Dragon can be set so that it will awaken by a simple command like “Hi Dragon”, “Hi dude”, “Turn on Dragon”, or whatever your heart’s content.
Currently, Dragon is only available in English and only for those users in the US.
➤ Dragon Mobile Assistant for Android
Photo credit: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
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