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Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN) today announced the availability of the Dragon Drive-powered Mercedes News App in Mercedes-Benz vehicles, allowing drivers to listen to articles from a number of different news channels while keeping the hands on the wheel and the eyes on the road.
Mercedes-Benz’s News App is a part of the COMAND Online connected in-car system. The app lets drivers review the day’s top news stories, as well as other news categories like domestic, international, economy, politics, or technology. The updated News App now takes advantage of Nuance’s intelligent expressive text-to-speech technology, which adds the ability to read out news with human-like high-quality voices optimized for in-car read out. Nuance’s text-to-speech technology becomes increasingly natural overtime as the technology adapts and learns to pronounce new words and phrases, such as Gangnam Style, or names in the news such as Angela Merkel.
News App voice examples in a variety of languages can be found here.
“The Mercedes-Benz News App is yet another way our powerful voice capabilities are keeping drivers informed and connected without adding dangerous distractions,” said Arnd Weil, vice president and general manager, automotive, Nuance Mobile. “Nuance’s expressive text-to-speech creates a more natural and personalized experience for consumers, while providing automakers like Mercedes with an incredibly humanlike voice that is well-integrated with their brand experience.”
Nuance’s voice technologies have long been available as part of Mercedes-Benz infotainment systems supporting a range of capabilities that keep drivers connected while minimizing distractions. Now in addition to voice dialing, voice destination and music search entry, Nuance’s expressive text-to-speech brings drivers top news articles and information as part of a smarter, more intelligent in-car system.
The updated News App with text-to-speech readout is available to Mercedes drivers in newly sold cars with COMAND Online as of June 2013, with rollout throughout the remainder of the year across North America, Europe and Asia in more than 20 languages, including: German, English UK, English US, French, Italian, Spanish (Castillian), Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Portuguese, Turkish, Polish, Czech, Greek, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Korean and Arabic.