SoundHound, the company behind the music recognition app of the same name, recently unveiled enhanced features under the name Hound that bring it squarely into the intelligent personal assistant camp.
A Techcrunch article from last week quotes founder and CEO Keyvan Mohajer as saying the company was always working towards a much larger vision than just providing a music recognition app. The Hound engine performs both speech recognition and natural language processing simultaneously in real-time, instead of separating them into different tasks. This is a technological advancement that enables Hound to return query responses very rapidly.
Based on the demo, the Hound engine can also process complex queries. An example is: “show me pet friendly hotels in Chicago under $300 a night with 3 or more stars excluding bed and breakfasts.” That’s pretty impressive.
The Hound assistant is available as an invitation-only beta Android app and an iOS version is in the works.
Perhaps even more interesting is that SoundHound is making its technology available for developers and app owners that want to “houndify” their apps. Just within the last few weeks I’ve written about MindMeld from Expect Labs and IBM’s Bluemix, both of which offer platforms and tools for voice-enabling apps. It seems there’s a real trend afoot.
The Houndify solution advertises itself as a provider of the full spectrum of services for creating voice-driven apps, including the same fast speech recognition and natural language processing engine that supports the Hound assistant. The Houndify website indicates that all operating platforms are supported: iOS, Android, Windows, Unix, Raspberry Pi, and others. You need an invitation code to create a Houndify developer account and the website doesn’t currently list any pricing information.
Will SoundHound’s Hound succeed as a voice-driven intelligent personal assistant? Will Houndify thrive as a platform for voice-driven apps? Both markets are certainly filled with opportunity. Now it looks like there’s yet another dog in the hunt. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist).