Baidu, Inc.’s (BIDU - Snapshot Report) research unit Baidu Research introduced a voice-centric keyboard for Android devices known as TalkType. The company claims that the keyboard is the first of its kind, designed particularly for speech input.
TalkType runs on Baidu’s high accuracy speech recognition technology that has been developed using deep learning. It catches voice commands three times faster than before. Baidu Research is working on GPU-based deep learning at its Silicon Valley AI Lab (SVAIL).
The interface has been crafted as a speech input friendly one with a big microphone icon positioned front and center in the app. In fact, the microphone button is the default and not the keyboard.
The keyboard on the other hand is alphanumeric and supports swipe and emojis. The company has also incorporated its QuickShare feature to allow browsing, searching and sharing of GIFs from Giphy as well as local business and location information.
Talktype allows faster hands free typing, quick tap to open microphone, smoother word-to-word navigation, swipe texting, word suggestion and beautiful themes.
The app is free and now available on the Google Play Store.
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The launch can be seen as Baidu’s attempt to take an early advantage in the rapidly growing speech recognition technology. According to Andrew Ng, chief scientist at Baidu, “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."
Baidu faces tough competition from search peers like Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL - Analyst Report) and Microsoft Corporation (MSFT - Analyst Report) . It appears that with this move, Baidu is trying to leapfrog its peers in the mobile application space. Third-party keyboards from Google and Microsoft are still text-centric.
Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider
Currently, Bidu is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. A better-ranked stock in the in the broader technology sector is LinkedIn Corporation (LNKD - Analyst Report) , sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Linkedin has seen estimates for the full year rise over the past 60 days by more than 100%.
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