(By Anupam Saxena and Nikhil Pahwa)

Speech and imaging solutions company, Nuance Communications will provide access to its proprietary mobile speech recognition platform, Dragon Mobile SDK, to iOS and Android developers via a self service website, as part of its Nuance Mobile Developer Program. In India, the company is specifically targeting developers working on applications targeting the US, European or Japanese iTunes store and the Android Market, to allow them to speech enable their applications: allow dictation (voice to text), and enable voice search capabilities. In India, Nuance competes Telisma Inc, a speech recognition company owned by OnMobile Global.

We took a look at the terms and conditions of the 90 day license. Among them:

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, you acknowledge and agree that Nuance shall not be restricted from creating, or having created on its behalf, any application, or feature or function contained therein, regardless of the similarity to your application, feature or function contained therein.

So…Nuance can copy your speech based app?

Dragon Mobile SDK

– is available for iOS 4.0 and Android 2.1+ devices
– Speech to text: supports US and UK English, European Spanish, European French, German, Italian and Japanese for dictation and search. Additional languages are expected to be added through the end of the year.
– Text to Speech capabilities are supported for more than 35 languages including Indian English and Hindi.
– Free for 90 days for non-commercial use, expensive thereafter: Developers can download Dragon Mobile SDK and have access to the cloud-based speech services for 90 days without a charge. However, the terms state that the software cannot be used for commercial use. After that, it is priced as follows: $1000 for 50,000 transactions, $1800 – 100,000 for transactions, $3750 for 250,000 transactions, and $6500 for 500,000 transactions.

Some Terms & Conditions

We culled out some interesting tidbits from Nuance’s terms and conditions for the Dragon Mobile SDK: do leave a comment on whether you think these are reasonable or not:

– License limitations (for the 90 day period): Nuance grants a license to use the SDK to develop applications to install on a Product, and to access the service via the Product, subject to the following limitations:
(a) to no more than one (1) concurrent connection;
(b) to connections from no more than 3 unique devices per day;
(c) to daily volume not to exceed 100 transactions per day; and
(d) to a ninety (90) day term from your acceptance of this Agreement (the “Term”);
– You may not, among other things: submit any automated or recorded queries to the Service unless otherwise approved in writing by Nuance; use the Software or Service for blogging or any other similar web journaling; use the Software or Service for commercial use; access the Service with software or means other than the Software; use the Software and/or Service for purposes of comparison with or benchmarking against products or services made available by third parties.
– Nuance will collect speech data: “you acknowledge, consent and agree that Nuance may collect the Speech Data as part of the Service and that such information shall only be used by Nuance or third parties acting under the direction of Nuance, pursuant to confidentiality agreements, to tune, enhance and improve the speech recognition and other components of the Service, and other Nuance services and products. Nuance will not use the information elements in any Speech Data for any purpose except as set forth above. “Speech Data” means the audio files, associated transcriptions and log files provided by you hereunder or generated in connection with the Service.”

Some of the major apps that use Dragon Mobile SDK, include Apple owned mobile personal assistant Siri, Price Check by Amazon, Ask for iPhone, aisle411, Merriam-Webster, Dictionary.com, and SpeechTrans.

In the past Nuance had deployed its voice recognition service on two Indian mobile networks for a VAS product, which allowed users to search for songs.

Nuance Inks Deals With One97 Communications & Comviva; Details
Nuance To Launch Free-Flow Voice Based Song Search In India
– Google Shuts Down Voice Search In India; Why Not Indic Languages?