SoundHound Brings Voice and Search to Internet-Connected Devices and Appliances

December 17, 2015

by Laurie Sullivan @lauriesullivan

searchmarketingdaily fintech xigniteSoundHound gave coffeemakers, refrigerators and other Internet-connected appliances, automobiles and toys a voice Tuesday in a move that will change the way consumers interact with advertising, content and technology. The company, which specializes in sound recognition and search, launched Houndify -- giving brands a developer platform to integrate voice-enabled commands and search into everyday household products.

The Houndify software developer kit launches with Expedia and AccuWeather as the first data partners. Both companies have committed to providing first-party data and application program interfaces to the Houndify platform, allowing developers to integrate the data with their services.

Sportradar for sports data, Xignite for stock market information, FlightStats for real-time flight data and airport information, and Open Exchange Rates for real-time currency exchange rates are also on this list of companies providing data in the coming months, according to SoundHound.

"During the development process we learned that developers want to ask about the weather, sports scores, and stock prices, or tell a joke," Keyvan Mohajer, SoundHound founder and CEO, told Search Marketing Daily.

So SoundHound decided to publish a software development kit enabling developers to integrate this feature with one click into their products. The SDK translates search to meaning, and supports contextual understanding and follow-up questions, and complex and compound queries. People can ask multiple questions simultaneously with results filtered or in sequence

Developers build features into hardware through the SDK. The software also allows manufacturers to remotely update information or add/delete options in the voice platform on the coffeemaker, for example -- even after the consumer takes possession of the hardware and installs it in their home if it's connected to the Internet. It is done in a way that is similar to how IT managers can simultaneously update software on thousands of computers at an enterprise like Oracle.

If brands can update and change settings on the type of content the hardware can receive, pushing advertisements and content to the device also remains possible. Mohajer did not detail the options for advertising, but this would be a logical next step. 

Although it's too early to tell, the shift could eventually take a bite out of search queries on google.com, bing.com, and yahoo.com.

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