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16 March, 2020 - 17:04 By Tony Quested

Cambridge tech gives Apple Watch a bigger voice

A new what3words app, regarded as the simplest way to talk about and share location, anywhere in the world has employed advanced voice technology from a company in Cambridge.

The app divides the world into 57 trillion 3m x 3m squares, giving each square a new, simplified address made up of three dictionary words. For example, the exact 3 sq m of the popular Fort Point view of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco can be found at ///usual.trying.highs. 

what3words has introduced simple, accurate location and voice technology for Apple Watch leveraging tech from Cambridge-based Speechmatics.

what3words for Apple Watch is voice enabled, allowing users to enter a what3words address hands-free in any of eight languages to date, including English, Arabic, German, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and Spanish. 

what3words’ hyper-accurate locations are marketed as the only address system built for voice input. The industry-leading speech recognition from what3words Voice API is powered by Speechmatics and provides simple voice input for addresses.

Other functionality includes viewing the 3 word address of your current location by pressing on the watch screen, sharing any what3words address to an iOS device via iMessage, and navigating using Apple Maps or what3words’ Compass feature.  

Josh Wigmore, chief product officer at what3words said: “Using voice is one of the quickest ways to enter a what3words address and with what3words for Apple Watch users can now do this right from their wrist without needing their phone. 

“You can quickly share your current address to meet with friends or look one up with voice and navigate there easily with Apple Maps or Compass. what3words for Apple Watch is powered by our new what3words Voice API so it’s fast and accurate, currently supporting eight languages with more coming soon.”

Co-founded in London in 2013 by Chris Sheldrick, the what3words system covers the entire world, never needs updating, and works offline. Products are available free or for a nominal fee for qualifying NGOs. Partners of the UK business include Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Domino’s Pizza, Lonely Planet, Airbnb and Cabify.

what3words has a team of over 100 people, across offices in London, San-Francisco, Johannesburg and Ulaanbaatar Mongolia. The company has raised over £45 million in capital from investors such as Intel, Aramex, Deutsche Bahn, SAIC and the Sony Investment Fund. 

Speechmatics is continually pushing the boundaries of automatic speech recognition accuracy in multi languages. Because of its advancement in accuracy and languages, the speech recognition technology continues to be adopted by some of the largest blue-chip companies in the world.

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