05 March 2011

Apple job ads seek Voice Control experts for iOS

In a few recent job postings noticed by AppleInsider, Apple has perhaps given a hint as to its future plans for iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads, looking for qualified individuals to bolster its Voice Control and syncing departments.

This is not the first search for Voice Control experts in which Apple has engaged. Back in December Apple was looking for new hires "specializing in voice technologies such as speech recognition, iOS software development for speech applications, and speech research."

Now, Apple is looking for three iOS Speech Operations Engineers to help develop the Voice Control functionality of iOS devices. Some of the more-advanced skills that Apple is looking for include:
  • Demonstrated experience deploying and configuring large numbers of Xen VM instances.
  • Demonstrated experience working with ssh, kickstart, bind, postfix, nagios; iptables, sed, awk, curl.
  • Demonstrated experience with configuring loadbalancing and firewalls.
  • Demonstrated experience with Nuance Recognizer, IBM WebSphere Voice, Google Voice, or similar voice search tool.
A patent application filed by Apple last year highlights several proposed improvements to Voice Control, including the ability for app developers to include specific voice commands in their iOS games and Apps.
Reports of a smaller iPhone to be released this summer included a vague mention of Voice Control that, given the smaller size, could become the main navigation mode of the device.
Though voice-activated hardware and voice recognition software has been around for quite some time, the technology has yet to become mainstream as a sole method of navigating a device's operating system. With Apple's recent acquisition of voice recognition software company Siri, many analysts predict Apple will be making significant strides in voice very soon.
Would you buy an iPhone Nano with a voice-only OS? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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