We all know SoundHound as a music search and discovery app that identifies what is being played around you. Today, SoundHound revealed a new voice search assistant named Hound which they have been working for past several years. Just like Cortana, Hound gives you results to what you ask for, such as looking up the weather, placing a phone call, sending a text message, finding a hotel and more. Hound understands both context and details. You can follow up to refine your results, or you can say precisely what you want all at once. Hound takes speed and accuracy to a whole new level by combining Speech Recognition and Language Understanding.
What makes Hound amazing?
Hound’s Speech-to-Meaning engine delivers unrivaled speed and accuracy. Speech recognition and natural language understanding is done simultaneously and in real time. Compared to traditional approaches that perform speech recognition first, then send the result to a search or understanding engine, Hound does it immediately. You experience speed and accuracy.
You can speak naturally. No need to speak in fragmented key-words. Hound has the ability to handle natural language sentences, including details, specifics, and multiple criteria (think, for example, of describing the hotel you want to find to have a gym, free-wi-fi and be less than $200 a night). Hound can even understand exclusions and negation (for example, if you want to find a place for lunch, but since you’ve had Chinese all week, you can say “show me restaurants nearby, excluding Chinese places”). This empowers you to really get what you’re searching for, quicker and with a great experience.
While the scripted demo of this app received positive response from the press, we should see how well it performs in the real world. For now, Hound will be coming to Android in preview soon and iOS devices later on. There is no information on whether Hound will come to Windows devices. Recently Microsoft announced that they will be releasing Cortana app for iOS and Android platforms in the coming months. Microsoft has some big plans for Cortana this year and you will see that in action by end of this year.