Over the past few years, founder and CEO Keyvan Mohajer, has been working hard on building a smarter and faster version of Siri. The company launched its voice search app, Hound in private beta on Android. Hound provides fast results to what users ask for, such as looking up the weather, placing a phone sending a text message, or finding a nearby hotel that matches your criteria. The app’s strong features include navigation, local search, weather, hotels, news, photos and video search, currency conversion, flight status, and more.
Hound launch partners include Expedia, so users can search for and book hotel deals with voice commands. Thanks to Hound’s deal with Expedia, users can ask the Hound app to find a hotel in Seattle that costs less than $200 a night, with parking, and a continental breakfast. The Hound app provides users with the same information they would find on Expedia, but users won’t need to click on all of the filters.
Mohajer said, “Hound is doing both voice recognition and natural language into one engine, whereas rival services break them up as separate tasks.”
The company is also launching its Houndify platform, which will allow developers to add a voice interface to any app. Mohajer doesn’t want to just compete with services like Siri but wants to replace the “touch and tap” interface most people still use.
To start, Hound will only be available as an invitation-only beta on Android, where iOS will have its own stand-alone app.
Mohajer told the Verge, “Our vision is that everything can be enabled to have this interface, from millions of phones to billions of other types of devices like consumer electronics and cars.We can’t be the company to build this for every company — we need to enable them.”
If you’re interested, you can sign up for the beta or check it out on the Google Play Store.