Did Nuance Knock Off ‘Siri’ with Virtual Assistant ‘Nina’?

Some Apple fans are up in arms over Nuance’s introduction of Nina, a virtual assistant that may remind some of Apple’s similar platform dubbed “Sir.”

So why are some people upset? According to independent business analyst and social media expert Mike Randazzo, the angry fans aren’t making much sense.

“Apple didn’t invent voice-command virtual assistants,” Randazzo says. “And this is the new ‘big thing’ in mobile. So while Nuance may be the next to get on board, it won’t be the last. This is the wave of mobile’s future.”

Nina, the virtual assistant for mobile customer service apps, allows companies to “quickly add speech-based virtual assistant capabilities to their existing iOS and Android mobile apps, greatly enhancing the self-service experience for their customers.”

Nina combines Nuance speech recognition, Text-to-Speech (TTS), voice biometrics, and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) technology hosted in the cloud to deliver an interactive user experience that not only understands what is said, but also can identify who is saying it.

“Nina is a watershed innovation for the automated customer service industry, not only because it brings the virtual assistant directly into an app, but because it raises the bar through its level of interactive dialog and language understanding,” said Robert Weideman, executive vice president and general manager of the Nuance Enterprise Division. “Nina provides our customers a major competitive differentiator by enabling more successful self-service through their mobile apps. We are especially pleased to further our partnership with USAA, a company known for its innovation and approach to delivering a premier mobile customer service experience to its members.”