New end-to-end VoiceAPI unlocks vast potential of voice-controlled devices

what3words has released a new end-to-end speech recognition and post-processing API, in conjunction with Speechmatics, at the CES VOICE Summit in Las Vegas.

The what3words Voice API allows a user to say three words into any application or service, with it returning the what3words address and corresponding GPS coordinates, all through a single API call. The Speechmatics integration provides industry-leading speech recognition and machine learning capabilities that enable new what3words languages to be built on demand. This will unlock the potential of voice devices for more people across the globe.

what3words is the simplest way to communicate precise locations. The location technology company has divided the world into a grid of 3m squares, and given each square a unique address made of three words. It enables people to identify and share any precise location using just three words. what3words is the first addressing system optimised for voice input, eliminating many of the frustrations encountered when using voice to enter traditional street addresses.

Speaking a street address into a voice interface, such as an in-car navigation system, can be lengthy and frustrating. Saying ‘Take me to 241st Street’ can sound exactly the same as ‘Take me to 2, 41st Street’. Street addresses also use thousands of non-dictionary words, the pronunciation of which can be near impossible to guess. The town of Godmanchester, for example, is actually pronounced ‘Gumster’. Each what3words address is unique and similar what3words addresses are placed far apart, making user errors easy to detect and correct using the what3words AutoSuggest post-processing function.

For customers that want to quickly enable what3words-only voice search, this single API removes the commercial and technical complexity of fusing together multiple APIs, meaning developers can be up and running in a matter of hours. With the product hosted by servers across numerous key international hubs, the audio stream’s latency is low enough to respond to the user in real time.

Chris Sheldrick, CEO and Co-founder of what3words, commented,

‘The what3words Voice API in partnership with Speechmatics means that what3words address searches by voice can now all be done in this single product. This makes it the ideal solution for apps and services that want to enable simple address entry via voice, without the speech recognition ambiguity associated with address search through traditional ASR systems – duplicate names, for example.’

John Milliken, CEO of Speechmatics adds:

‘Speechmatics enables its partners to innovate with voice by providing accurate speech recognition regardless of your accent and can learn new languages on demand. We’re delighted to supportwhat3words in the launch of our combined API. Using automatic speech recognition to unlock the value in voice data is becoming more widespread and we are excited about the potential for our technology to help what3words create a new global standard for addresses.’

The what3words Voice API powered by Speechmatics currently supports English, Mandarin, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, German, Arabic and Spanish.