Sogou Invests Big in Voice Assistant Software Research

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Recently, Sogou mobile GM Ru Liyun revealed that the company plans to invest heavily in the voice recognition field, and established a research center last March that it has been pouring money and manpower into. At present, Ru says, the project has nearly 100 people working on it, with the goal being to create Siri-like software that improves the user experience of searching.

Sogou also recently released a smartphone app called Sogou Voice Assistant, which is quite similar in functionality to Siri. The app is available for both iOS and Android, but it’s clear that the company does not see this as the end point in its research of voice input products, and it will continue to invest heavily in the development of similar products and technologies.

Although it started as a search company, Sogou is not a significant player in China’s search field. It has considerably more traction in the field of text input, where its Sogou Pinyin and other input methods have become a fairly popular way for Chinese users to type in characters on their computers and smartphones. Given that, it certainly makes sense that Sogou is investing heavily in audio input methods, but one can’t help but wonder if it’s a bit late. Siri was released in the fall of 2011 and similar apps had been around quite a while before then; why did Sogou wait until March 2012 to begin working on this?

[via Sina Tech]

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