Nuance Communications has shown a prototype "open voice search" application on the Apple iPhone that promises simple “say anything” mobile web search capabilities.
The system is fast and effective judging by the demo, but it's not totally hands free. Users push one button to access the service and speak the search request. This is then sent (by pushing another button) to a Nuance server running speech recognition software and returned as text to a search box on the phone, linking to any search engine the users chooses.
The system supports requests like: “Find statistics on iPhone sales” or “Check today’s weather in New York”. Nuance claims its application will then quickly and accurately search the mobile web on the iPhone.
In future, Nuance sees the application being built-in to handsets (rather than server based) with functionality to extended to include voice-control of functions like email, SMS and media players.