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Torque, Microsoft alternative to "OK Google," now works on Android smartphones

Torque, Microsoft now works on Android smartphones

Microsoft this morning launched an app for Android smartphone users called Torque which allows you to shake your phone to search by voice, similar to Google "OK Google." 


The difference is that instead of waking up the application with a standard keyword command is shaking motion instead does the trick. Also like Google, Torque issue an "immediate response" including things like details on local flights, stock prices, sports scores, weather, nearby restaurants and more.

Torque, Microsoft alternative to "OK Google," now works on Android smartwatches

Torque itself was actually released in October, but now only supported on certain smartwatches Android. The application is then activated with a flick of the wrist. However, smartwatches remain a niche market, so it makes sense for Microsoft to expand its support for smart phones as well. (The original application has been discharge 10,000 times, to give you an idea.)

Version 2.0, now Google Play, also includes some more immediate responses, including flight status reports and information about local events. These responses and other results are driven by the search for Bing.

The first testers reported some bugs with the first version of the appropriate application to answer your wrist movements, or the detection of voice, but overall the application has a decent rating 3.9 (of 5) stars in Android application the after market some 240+ reviews.

Microsoft is actively developing Android applications outside software products your company logo as Microsoft Office, Xbox, OneDrive or Outlook, for example, may be news to some. But Torque is representative of latest Microsoft thought that sees the company of trying to work with the broader mobile ecosystem.

The application of torque was developed by Microsoft Garage, a group of exploration, experimentation and release of consumer applications cross-platform. The organization, which emerged from Office Labs in 2009, is about connecting Microsoft engineers and engineering projects with clients to see how their technologies are received.

"From the point of view of the customer, which is a very good way to get to the first access to emerging technologies. And from the point of view of Microsoft, is really a great way to get real feedback from real customers about how people used things, "said Jeff Ramos, Manager at The Garage in a blog from October.

Applying original pair was built in three months time as a side project created by Xuedong Huang, Jiaping Wang, Wu Xiong Lingfeng and Wayne Microsoft garage who worked with researchers from Microsoft in the twisting motion to activate. Huang has worked with speech technologies for some time, having founded research efforts and development of Microsoft speech recognition in the 1990s.

In addition to torque, the team has launched a number of other applications, including Mouse Without Borders (allows you to control 4 computers with a single mouse and keyboard); Alarm bus (alerts that indicate when the bus arrives); Journeys and Notes (an application for registration of social trip for Android); Next Screen Lock (lock screen Android offering rapid application releases and other notices); Voice Commander (an Xbox controlled by voice), and many, many others. If applications do not work, the team spends Garage, building on top of what they learn as they go.

With something as critical as mobile / voice search, however, one would imagine Torque is the type of project Microsoft wants to do well.

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