Ask Ziggy, best known as the "Siri for Window's Phone," has launched the Ask Ziggy API, which enables natural speech processing within any app. The API enables speech processing, but must be used in conjunction with other speech services to complete the offering (e.g. Nuance, AT&T, etc.). Ask Ziggy expects the API to be used primarily for enhanced in-app search features; however, the opportunities extend much further than basic search. Kopin Corporation's Jeffrey Jacobsen expressed the potential:
"Ask Ziggy’s cloud-based natural speech engine will rapidly transform ‘Siri’ class speech recognition from merely amusing into a fast, accurate, professional-grade access to information."
Ask Ziggy unveiled the API at SXSW last weekend. Ask Ziggy and Priceline debuted the API with a demo of its jointly developed app: Say It Book It. Say It Book It allows users to vocally input hotel search parameters (e.g. location, amenities, price range, etc.) and receive a list of results.
The Ask Ziggy API uses REST protocol. Data can be returned in a number of formats depending on the app needs. Developers set up various parameters to "train" the natural language processing engine which enables useful results. After training, entities are loaded to the API to fully integrate language processing into the app. For more information, visit the walkthrough page.
Since mobile devices started creeping into the traditional PC market, many have wondered when typing would die. Ask Ziggy's mantra, "Less Type. More Talk," might indicate the impending doom of the keyboard. Should app developers take hold of the Ask Ziggy API, expect more and more reliance on speech in apps.