HTC teased a photo of a voice assistant app with the capability to translate a dog’s bark today. The image, which shows an elegant-looking Android application with Sense UI styling and Siri-like back and forth dialogue, was accompanied by the comment, “Ever wonder what your pet has been trying to tell you all these years?” Of course, the application doesn’t exist and HTC claims they were “just having a bit of fun” with their Facebook fans after talking about pets all week. Still, I think there may be more to this than what’s on the surface and stated.
HTC obviously isn’t working on a dog translator app, that would just be a novelty and outright ridiculous, but what about an intelligent personal assistant app with a natural language user interface for us, as in humans, to better compete with their rivals? HTC’s leading competitors, Apple and Samsung, are actively promoting their voice assistants, Siri and S Voice, for the iPhone 4S (also new iPad) and Galaxy S III, respectively. Heck, even LG just announce a similar app, called Quick Voice. It wouldn’t be a stretch to assume HTC, who’s well-known for integrating robust software features with their hardware, may be working on a similar app behind the scenes. Could this spoofed dog app be a way to gauge interest from their fans on Facebook, Twitter and other social media oulets? Or maybe a subtle way to remind consumers they’re well-aware of current market trends and an app of their own could eventually be on the way? Maybe I’m being optimistic, but I think that’s exactly what HTC is doing here.
It may not look like what we see above, it definitely won’t be able to translate your dog’s barking into English, but I have a feeling we’ll have a Siri and S-Voice competitor from HTC by either CES 2013 (January) or Mobile World Congress 2013 (February). Book it.