There is another digital voice assistant entering the scene that will give Siri, Cortana and Google Now a run for their money. SoundHound, the company behind the music search and discovery app, announced on Tuesday the public launch of its very own voice search and virtual assistant app.

Called Hound, the app allows users to ask questions and find answers to things, like what the weather is today, or which four-star hotels are nearby. Users can also use voice commands to complete tasks such as sending a text or making a phone call.

What separates Hound from other virtual assistants like Siri is that the user can speak conversationally, rather than in a robotic voice based on the way would search using keywords. Hound can comprehend the context of what the user is asking, which allows the user to add details and follow-up questions to further refine or change their search results. This means that users will be able to ask more complex questions and the app will be there to assist in the inquiry.

The app uses the company's "Speech-to-Meaning" voice recognition and language understanding technology to accurately and quickly bring up results without the user having to type a single thing into a search engine.

"Once users no longer feel the pain points of typing on small screens and being misunderstood by older voice services, they will fall in love with Hound," Keyvan Mohajer, SoundHound Inc.'s Founder and CEO, said in a press release.

Hound will also get smarter over time by learning from its user's data. The app currently uses more than 100 domains to provide its answers and relevant information to queries about weather, navigation, nutrition, music, videos, sports scores and more.

SoundHound has also partnered with Yelp and Uber to integrate its data with the app. This means Hound users will be able to get Yelp business listings when searching for a good Thai spot to eat at nearby, and have an Uber car come pick them up by verbally ordering a ride.

The app works similarly to the other digital assistants. Users prompt Hound by saying, "OK, Hound ..." to start a query. This provides a hands-free experience that can be ideal when multitasking at work, or when needing to look up a recipe while in the middle of cooking.

Hound was previously released in beta via private invitation in June, and is now available to download for free for iOS and Android.

Source: SoundHound

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