What's the Latest Development?

Nuance, a company specializing in voice-recognition technology, this week announced the launch of Voice Ads, a platform that allows companies to create ads on mobile devices that can initiate and maintain conversations with potential customers. Nuance vice president Mike McSherry says the ads "could range from car ads that let you ask questions about the vehicle shown to ads for a sports network that allow you to get information about who won last night’s game or what time tonight’s game starts." Already the company has partnered with several ad agencies and mobile distribution networks.

What's the Big Idea?

iOS' Siri and Android's Google Voice Search have already helped users grow accustomed to voice interactions, and with the explosive growth in mobile ad space, McSherry says his company is ready to "[bring] a new interface innovation...Most people don’t interact with ads for the fun of it, but that’s kind of where we want to get to with this." University of Rochester professor Jeffrey Bigham anticipates possible frustration with the interface, but says the ads' limited scope may sidestep that issue: "You're not going to ask Ford about a good restaurant to eat at...[you're] going to ask it about cars. So that could make it work."

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Read it at MIT Technology Review