When demos go awry (Sunday Globe column on Nuance Communications)
From the story:
When it comes to controlling a mobile phone, car stereo, desktop PC, or GPS device by voice alone, software from Nuance Communications Inc. is fast becoming the equivalent of Intel Inside. In terms of the breadth of its products, and the number of employees it has dedicated to speech recognition, Nuance looms over its bigger rivals, IBM Corp. and Microsoft Corp. But on the local and national tech scenes, Nuance is far from well-known.
"They've taken a fragmented industry and rolled it up into one company," says Daniel Ives, an analyst at Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co., alluding to CEO Paul Ricci's passion for picking up smaller speech recognition companies. (Friedman, Billings makes a market in Nuance's stock, but hasn't done any investment banking for the company.) "Speech recognition is still a green field opportunity, and I view them as the 800-pound gorilla in the space."
There are two videos this week -- one of the demo that Nuance exec Peter Mahoney gave me last week, and another video that Mahoney recorded in response to my column and video, which explains why things didn't go smoothly when he was showing me a TomTom speech-guided GPS.
Here's my video of the original demo:
And here's Mahoney's reply, posted to YouTube: