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AT&T’s Watson Speech Recognition Technology to Help Provide Users Control of Mobile Applications Via Power of Their Voice

FLORHAM PARK, N.J., September 16, 2009 — In an effort to provide mobile device users an easier and more natural way to control their applications, AT&T* and Vlingo today announced a licensing agreement and strategic alliance to incorporate AT&T’s Watson technology into Vlingo’s speech-enabled applications. The alliance will drive innovation in user interfaces by allowing people to use the power of their voice to create and send a text message or email, search the Web, access social networking tools and more, making data services more accessible and convenient to use. As part of the alliance, AT&T will take a minority equity stake in Vlingo.

“AT&T’s Watson technology provides a world-class speech recognition engine in both performance and features,” said Charles Kalmanek, vice president of networking and services research, AT&T Labs. “By allowing users to speak naturally, Watson opens the door to a wide range of innovative new services that are easy and natural to use.”

Added Dave Grannan, president and CEO, Vlingo: “This agreement represents a unique opportunity to work with AT&T to deliver a revolutionary speech recognition solution to the market. Natural and unconstrained voice recognition user interfaces represent the next major breakthrough for the mobile industry as well as many other industries. Based on our evaluation, we have seen significant accuracy and performance gains with Watson compared to other core speech technologies that will allow us to create a dramatically improved user experience. We look forward to deploying our joint solutions throughout the industry.”

A leader in speech technology for decades, AT&T is a pioneer in voice-enabled services and has developed hundreds of voice applications deployed throughout our advanced telecommunications network. AT&T’s Watson speech recognition technology includes the latest advances and innovations in the field of speech and language processing with a rich set of tools for custom development and adaptation of acoustic and language models. In addition to Watson, AT&T’s suite of speech technologies also includes AT&T Natural Voices, an award-winning text-to-speech product that converts text into voice for a wide variety of applications.

Vlingo is a Cambridge, MA-based startup focused on unlocking access to mobile data applications with speech recognition technology that lets people control their mobile applications with the power of their voice. Vlingo’s current iPhone, Blackberry and Nokia applications enable customers to simply speak to their phone to create and send a text or email message, search the web, update their Facebook status and more, making data services more accessible and easy to use. Millions of iPhone, Blackberry and Nokia customers have downloaded Vlingo’s current application suite.

Erin Keleher, Senior Marketing Communications Manager, Vlingo

  • Daniel

    Just watched demo on and came straight over here. I'd like to know if this is some thing you have for just a PC going yet? If I'm running a carpc tethered to my iPhones internet or what not, I'd rather have the carpc do this for me, much bigger visual confirmation. Thanks! Nice work!

  • Allen

    I would like to know if this technology will be used by AT&T to add a service that rivals "Voice On The Go"…(see the .com). I've been using their service for several years, and would like to find an alternative to it.

    VOTG allows you to do all the steps for sending and receiving email by phone using voice-command and a few key presses. I am helping a friend who is visually-impaired, so VOTG has been a reasonable way of allowing him to use email. He would like to explore other services, however. Thanks!

  • Ron King


    I am using Vlingo on my HTC hero and was wondering, if there was a fee for use text or email
    Or any other service? My texts are unlimited. My internet servivce is paid.
    Aside from using mobile internet which I pay for, is there a cost
    To use vlingo ?
    Thanx. Ron

    By the way, I used Vlingo to. For me instead of manually typing
    Nice job Clinging!