Nuance Dragon TV Augments Voice AI for British Virgin Media O2
Nuance has added new voice AI features for British Virgin Media O2 customers. Virgin TVs running the Dragon TV platform can now change the channel and search through programming guides by voice command. The additional voice tools are available to anyone with the right TV, but are specifically aimed at improving accessibility among those with limited or no sight.
Nuance, now owned by Microsoft, has been providing Dragon TV as a software platform to telecom giant Liberty Global’s Virgin Media O2 subsidiary for half a decade. The TVs are built with Nuance’s conversational AI and both Virgin and Nuance have rated the product a success at more than 1.5 billion monthly interactions. Viewers average 100 monthly voice requests, with nearly three-quarters of those who try out the voice control continuing to use it after nine months.
“Seamless, personalized TV experiences with voice‑enabled AI technologies are the future of entertainment, and we believe every customer should be able to experience and benefit from these capabilities,” Liberty Global vice president of entertainment products Pieter Vervoort said. “By partnering with Nuance, we’ve made it easier for all of our customers to enjoy voice‑enabled entertainment experiences, better customer service and easier navigation between channels and apps, building upon the voice enabled services our already customers enjoy.”
Pre-Microsoft, Nuance was early to the voice-controlled TV space, beating Apple by a couple of years. Now though, the market has grown increasingly crowded as TV brands roll out voice AI options and voice assistant developers invest heavily in smart TVs as an extension of their voice assistant and smart home ecosystems. For instance, British TV provider Sky recently unveiled an upgrade to the Sky Glass smart TV native voice assistant to enable vocal searches on YouTube. Meanwhile, Amazon offers Fire TVs with a far-field microphone for hands-free Alexa access and a way to connect Fire TV Cube directly to some hearing aids.
“Today’s TV subscribers have so many options and content to sort through, with more being developed daily. A voice-enabled experience can make sorting and finding content easy, opening up new opportunities for viewers and providers alike,” Nuance senior vice president of intelligent engagement solutions Tony Lorentzen said, Nuance. “Liberty Global continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible with voice, always keeping in mind the needs of their diverse customer base. We’re thrilled to further expand our partnership with them to increase accessibility and create better experiences for their subscribers.”