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App of the Week - Hound

App of the Week - Hound (Source: Soundhound.com)

Have you ever found yourself getting frustrated with Siri or Google Now? Then SoundHound’s new Hound app may be for you.

Launched back in March of this year, Hound is a voice search and personal assistant app that boasts fast speeds and promises to let users “speak naturally,” without needing to learn any “special keyword phrases.”

Instead, after bringing up Hound manually or via voice command (“OK Hound”), the app relies on what SoundHound calls “Speech-to-Meaning” capability. We’ll let Matthew Lynley at TechCrunch describe it in more depth:

“…Apple and Google first translate voice to text, and then run that text against an engine that attempts to generate the meaning for the text. Hound brings the meaning translation component of it closer to the voice transcription, attempting to determine what the user is asking faster… The result is that the response will hopefully be quicker and more accurate than a tool like Siri…”

In addition, the technology allows for more conversational interaction with the app, including the use of highly specific details (i.e., “show me Chinese restaurants in Chicago with dumplings for less than $10”) and even follow-up questions (“only show me restaurants that are open now”). Hound’s compatibility with SoundHound, the company’s core tech, a song/sound identification app, also means that Hound can take the place of Shazam, allowing users to so much as “simply hum songs” into the app to figure out a tune with “reasonable accuracy,” according to TechCrunch.

Even better? Hound is currently compatible with Uber, and its accessible Houndify platform may mean that plenty of other popular apps will soon be featuring Hound’s advanced capacity for speech recognition, natural language, and context.

Ready to give this powerful Siri-alternative a try? Hound is available as a free download for iOS and Android devices.

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Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).