Pioneer says its free Zypr cloud platform will soon be the most robust voice interface for the car.
Pioneer wants Zypr to be to all CE devices, including car radios, what Siri is to the iPhone 4S. Zypr (part of a business unit of Pioneer) gives you access to apps like Facebook and Google through conversational voice control.
You could say, “Where’s the nearest restaurant?” and Zypr will ask, “What type?”
If you say, “Indian food,” it will show you a selection and when you choose a restaurant, you may ask it to email directions to Joe Smith.
You can tell the radio to “turn up the volume,” or “stop the music.” And you can ask the radio to post a Facebook or Twitter update.
“From a car perspective, our goal is to make the car a first class citizen in the consumer electronics universe,” said Pioneer’s David Frerichs.
Traffic, weather, Internet radio, Yelp! and other features will be offered in Zypr. The maker of a car radio and other devices can change the apps it works with since all services reside in the cloud.
While it won’t say when Zypr will be available, Pioneer hinted that a year from now, we might see it in car products and tablets, followed by TVs, home stereos and smartphones.
Monday, Pioneer announced it opened up an API to developers for Zypr and that the service will be free to users and to product manufacturers. Actually, product makers will get a percentage of revenues, so they will be paid to use it. The service will be funded through advertisements.
Frerichs claims Zypr has better voice control over what is currently available apart from Siri (which includes artificial intelligence). “I’m unaware of any device that has our capabilities. It’s more than dictation, more than search terms. We provide basic recognition, command parsing, dictation, object filtering and then conversation flow.”
Siri, has already changed the landscape for consumer electronics products, he noted.
“Siri will create consumer demand for voice control. We’re enabling a system that can provide voice control for non-Apple devices,” Frerichs said.
While Siri can be used in the car for Apple devices, “from what I have seen, it won’t provide the full range of functions someone would need there (e.g. Internet radio, navigation, social networking). In addition, it definitely won’t integrate to non-Apple services,” he added.