Remember SoundHound’s voice assistant from last year, called Hound? The company, which is known for its music recognition app for smartphones, has made the app available on Google Plat and Apple’s iTunes store now. Although the app is available only in the US at the moment, initial reports suggest that its voice recognition software is faster than Google Now, Siri or Cortana. In fact, some have said that Hound may be far ahead of anything other voice assistant in the market right now.
Of course, its achilles heel is in the fact that it has to be run using an app, which means it can’t currently be in the always on mode, a major step back for any voice assistant. The company’s video (above) shows a really fast and intelligent assistant, although the video is of course sped up artificially as well. That said, the queries given to Hound are quite convoluted and the its response is still worth noticing. There’s also the “Ok Hound” voice command, which allows users to operate it without touching the phone. According to CEO, Keyvan Mohajer, the app does what he calls “speech-to-meaning”, which makes it faster than current voice assistants. This means it translates what you’re saying, while you speak, instead of the traditional method, where the software first translates your speech into text and then deciphers its meaning, to give you a response. Of course, it's performance in other languages is yet to be seen.
We have contacted the company about their plans to make the app available outside the US, and will update this story as soon as we hear from them.