Nuance hosts ‘The Amazing Race’ — text messaging and speech recognition competition, pits man against machine

October 24, 2006

Medialink & Nuance | Nuance Communications, Inc., provider of speech and imaging solutions, hosts the “The Amazing Race: Mobile Text Messaging,” a challenge to determine the fastest and most accurate way to send text messages and email using mobile devices. In a classic match-up of man vs. machine, the Amazing Race pits the most proficient 3-key and T-9 typists, including the world champion of text messaging, against Nuance Mobile Dictation, a new technology that allows mobile device users to dictate messages.

Ben Cook, crowned the world champion of text messaging, races against Nuance Mobile Dictation, the speech recognition technology that allows mobile phone users to enter messages using speech. Cook, a teen from Utah, holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest entry of a 160-character standardized message on a mobile device. The Nuance Amazing Race features the same text Cook used to win the championship, as well as common text messages that users would send in day-to-day conversations.

Two more competitions pitting man against machine took place in front of a live audience. Eli Tirosh, the recently crowned West Coast Champion of the LG National Texting Championship, raced against new speech recognition technology from Nuance Communications that allows mobile phone users to create and send text messages using speech. One of the messages in the competition was “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

In the second match-up of man vs. machine, one of Britain’s top racing drivers, Perry McCarthy, also known as “the Stig” from the popular BBC TV-show Top Gear (the secret racing driver in black), took his chances against a contestant who was able to use Nuance speech recognition to conduct a number of device-related tasks in a simulated driving environment. Speed was not the critical measurement in this competition, but rather minimizing distraction and ensuring safety by allowing the “driver” to keep his hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. The drivers received a text message with instructions to access and play a specific song.

While McCarthy needed to take his eyes off the road to read the incoming text message and then navigate his iPod manually to find and play the requested song, the driver using Nuance speech solutions on his phone continued to drive safely on the course while the incoming message was read aloud to him and he simply dictated the name of the song he needed to play. Produced for Nuance Communications.

Video Source: Medialink / Nuance