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NTT Communications Offers Speech-recognition API for Multiple Browsers at No Charge

July 28, 2015

When it comes to service providers leveraging WebRTC, there can be little doubt that Japan’s NTT Communications (NTT Com) is at the forefront.  As has been documented over the past several months, NTT Com has been aggressively developing and marketing the WebRTC-enabled capabilities of its SkyWay service. The news from Tokyo this week is that the company has announced the immediate availability of what is being billed as “the world’s first speech-recognition application programming interface (API) compatible with multiple browsers, available for no charge on SkyWay.”

This was not all as NTT Com also announced new English-based features of the platform for easier application development, such as a screen-sharing library, multi-party library that connects multiple users, Web of Thing (WoT) sample code, and a security guideline.

As will many WebRTC innovations, ease-of-use it a highlight of the new capabilities. The speech-recognition API is programmed with JavaScript for multiple browsers. This means that users do not need to install new software. In addition, SkyWay provides its own speech-recognition server, which recognizes spoken voices with high speed and high precision. The speech-recognition API is compatible with the WebRTC friendly Chrome, Firefox and Opera browsers, and Microsoft’s Edge is up next.

NTT does point out that currently the service is available only in Japanese, but plans are for a launch of it in English at an undetermined point in the future.

Explanations of the new capabilities are as follows:  

  • Multi-party library: This new library enables users to create group chatting services with just several lines of code.
  • Screen sharing library:  This new library enables users to freely develop screen-sharing extensions (e.g. Extension for Chrome or AddOn for Firefox) with just several lines of code.
  • WoT sample code: This open source WoT sample code enables users to develop WoT applications for easy robotic manipulation.
  • WebRTC security guideline: Via the same format as open source, this new WebRTC guideline covers diverse security information and technologies that developers new to check when creating and using applications that leverage WebRTC.
Image via Shutterstock

As noted at the top, NTT Com’s SkyWay, launched in December 2013, was not just Japan’s first WebRTC platform for developing web and smartphone applications but one of the first efforts by a service provider to see WebRTC as friend rather than foe. In fact, NTT Com notes that the number of registered API keys surpassed 2,200 on July 15. This is a major milestone in a relatively short period of time and something other service providers need to thinking about.




Edited by Andrew Bindelglass

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