AT&T’s Watson Looks for Its Voice in a Crowded App Marketplace

B. Washburn
B. Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • AT&T Watson comes from different roots than Google’s Voice Actions or Apple’s Siri.  Its API faces mobile apps, but it could transcend them.
  • AT&T’s charge for use of Watson may turn developers away, but it can win with a premium pitch that attracts developers with business models generating actual revenues.

Just as it said it would, AT&T released its first API function tapping its Watson speech engine in June.   Starting with a one-time $99 charge (and a rate of about $0.01 per transaction starting in 2013), developers can access and incorporate the network-based voice recognition service into their apps.  There is just one function call currently available: speech-to-text.  However, speech-to-text is how successful voice recognition applications such as Apple’s Siri, Samsung’s S Voice, and Nuance Communications’ Vlingo mobile app all work (and by no coincidence, Vlingo is a Watson licensee).  Voice dictation, when captured and interpreted accurately, can transcribe and send SMS, launch Web searches and directory searches, or search through specific documentation or help pages, such as a software manual. Continue reading “AT&T’s Watson Looks for Its Voice in a Crowded App Marketplace”