Nuance Bets that Mobile Ads Will Soon Be Talking to You

Voice technology continues to take on more tasks including search, text entry and device control, and now Nuance thinks voice technology could play a significant role in mobile advertising via talking ads. On Monday, the company announced a venture with advertising agencies, ad networks and publishers, in an effort to test if mobile ads featuring voice interaction provide more engagement than traditional banner ads.

“Mobile has a monetization challenge,” said Mike McSherry of Nuance. “By introducing voice you can transcend the small screen size.”

McSherry offered a demo of the ad technology, which “shows how a fictional deodorant company could have a magic eight-ball that can serve up witty responses to a range of different questions, ending with a product pitch,” writes AllThingsD.

“To get the ads accepted, though, Nuance will have to convince a large swath of companies — including those that do the advertising, the ones that make the ads, the people who make the tools used to build ads as well as the mobile ad networks and ultimately the apps that carry such ads,” notes the article.

McSherry believes that if his company can prove these ads work well, and work better than current mobile advertisements, then ad companies and others will want to join in. “Most ads have limited engagement. If this increases the likelihood of participation by even fractional percentage points it is worthwhile,” he said.

“Nuance isn’t alone in trying to find a role for voice in brand advertising and marketing,” explains AllThingsD. “Among the others in the space is a startup called Volio, run by Nuance’s founder Ron Croen.”

The post includes a 3-minute video demo.

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