Smart watch maker Pebble has announced its new Dictation API. The new API enables third party apps to utilize voice recognition features through Pebble Time, Time Steel, and Time Round products. The API gathers arbitrary text from a user and responds with the appropriate action. Voice enabled apps save the time and attention necessary with a button-based text input system.
"From keeping in touch hands-free to controlling smart homes and connected cars, the possibilities are endless," Joseph Kristoffer, Pebble's Community Manager, mentioned in a blog announcement. "We're excited to see what developers build with this sweet new tool."
While Apple and Google both support voice recognition through home-grown technologies, Pebble partnered with voice recognition powerhouse, Nuance, to offer the API. Prior to the release of the Dictation API, Pebble's only voice recognition offering came through the Android-based Pebble Time product. The Dictation API expands voice recognition to both iOS and Android apps.
The Dictation API uses the same user interface shown to a Pebble user when responding to notifications through the system menu. After a user initiates transcription through the user interface, the user announces a phrase that needs to be converted to text. The audio clip is transmitted to the Nuance service and is translated into text. The text is returned to the user, and the user is granted the ability to review the text for accuracy. Once the user approves the text, the text pushes to the appropriate app with the select button. Users can automatically retry voice dictation if an error is found. Visit the API docs for more information.
Smart watches maintain notoriously small screens. Accordingly, voice recognition becomes a massively handy tool to use a smart watch to its fullest extent. The API is no-brainer release for Pebble, and the company suggested that developers have requested the API for quite some time. Kristoffer admitted as much with his opening line: "You speak and we listen."