Baidu has launched a new voice-focused keyboard app. Called TalkType, the Android app is now available in the US via the Google Play store.
The app features emoji and GIF support, but its billboard feature is its speech recognition. In a statement announcing TalkType, Baidu asserted that the technology allows users to produce text three times as quickly as by typing it out. The company’s Silicon Valley AI Lab head, Bijit Halder, called TalkType “the first full-function Android keyboard that is ‘voice first,’ not ‘voice also.'”
The app arrives after the publication of a recent study undertaken by Baidu, Stanford, and the University of Washington, that found that dictation via Baidu’s technology could produce text significantly faster than by using a mobile keyboard. Commenting on the launch of TalkType, Baidu chief scientist Andrew Ng asserted, “As speech recognition continues to make dramatic improvements, it’s natural that speech will become a more and more popular way to communicate with devices.” Indeed, and with the emergence of more connected devices that lack traditional keyboard interfaces, major tech and IT companies such as Google and Apple are also investing heavily in speech recognition technologies for voice-based user interaction.