Press Release

Speech in Space: International Space Station Blasts Off with Nuance Speech Recognition

By SpaceRef Editor
March 28, 2005
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Voice Automation Market Leader to Fuel Speech-Powered Astronaut Assistant

There’s a new crewmember aboard the International Space Station who is never at a loss for words. Clarissa is the International Space Station’s new speech-powered virtual assistant. This software eventually may help astronauts check out space suits and analyze drinking water quality — all via voice. In the future, Clarissa has the potential to talk astronauts through thousands of important procedures related to life support systems, medical exams, and equipment checkout. The experimental Clarissa application was created using speech recognition software from Nuance, the voice automation expert. Clarissa is set to begin working with astronauts during the next six months as part of International Space Station Expedition 11.

“Nuance is thrilled to be an integral part of the NASA-Clarissa project, taking voice automation to new heights – literally,” said Chuck Berger, President and CEO, Nuance. “While voice automation has become a mainstream business imperative for everything from telecommunications providers to banks, Clarissa illustrates the important role speech will play in our daily lives in the very-near future.”

Pre-Clarissa, astronauts — when trying to analyze water samples — scrolled through multiple pages of instructions, following each step of the procedure. Considering that computers and crewmembers float in microgravity, securing laptops to the International Space Station’s walls and trying to type has proved to be more than challenging. During a recent validation test on the ground, speech-powered Clarissa, which recognizes words and sentences, led astronaut Ellen Baker through several water quality analysis procedures, listening for “next,” “complete” and “repeat” commands before reading the appropriate directive.

NASA hopes to test Clarissa aboard the International Space Station sometime between late April and October 2005.

At Clarissa’s core is a state of the art dialogue manager and Nuance’s latest market-leading speech recognition software. It’s the most accurate, scalable, and easy-to-deploy voice automation software on the market. The Clarissa system was developed by scientists at the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., and installed on the International Space Station on January 13, 2005. In ground tests conducted thus far, Clarissa showed how it could boost crewmember efficiency by allowing astronauts to better focus on the task at hand without having to navigate a PDF guide with a keyboard and mouse.

For more information, please see:

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/multimedia/images/2005/Clarissa.html

About Nuance

In an era where a focus on the customer is essential to business success, Nuance provides leading companies with voice-automation solutions that enable both an outstanding customer experience and corporate cost efficiency. Nuance is a leader in the voice automation market, providing software and solutions to more than 1,000 companies worldwide. Clients include Avon, British Airways, Nomura Securities, OnStar, Sprint PCS, United Parcel Service, Vodafone and Wells Fargo. Nuance is headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., and has offices around the world. For more information, visit www.nuance.com or call 1-888-NUANCE-8.

This press release contains forward-looking statements with respect to Nuance, including, for example, those relating to the business and customer benefits attainable by using Nuance speech products. There is no assurance that the results contemplated by any forward-looking statements will be realized. The following factors, risks and uncertainties, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements: the risk that any of these products will not achieve anticipated or projected performance levels, customer experience and satisfaction levels, cost savings, scalability, deployment and integration ease and speed, or other benefits in some or all circumstances; and other factors described in Nuance’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to Nuance’s last-filed Form 10-K. Nuance does not undertake to update any oral or written forward-looking statements that may be made by or on behalf of Nuance.

Nuance is a registered trademark of Nuance Communications, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

SpaceRef staff editor.