Hands on with SoundHound’s ‘Hound’ Virtual Assistant and comparison with the Google app [Video]



Yesterday, SoundHound announced to the world that they’ve been working on a virtual assistant for 10 years, aiming to take on the likes of the Google app (formerly Google Search), Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Microsoft’s Cortana. SoundHound said that Hound was fast, provided deep results, has the ability to take on detailed query criteria, and has the ability to speak naturally. Hound is supposed to understand both context like the Google app, but also able to understand detail, something Google and other’s do not offer.

How does Hound perform in real a real world test? Watch the video below to find out. (Yes, it’s long. I didn’t want to edit out the failures. I felt they showed real world results.)

For a beta app that’s aimed to take on Google on Android and soon Siri on iOS, Hound isn’t bad. You can tell the app is beta, as the experience can’t handle the competition from time to time. I found found myself having to retry a query because it failed or the voice recognition was just plain horrible. However, all is not lost. Hound can do certain tasks and queries that even the mighty Google cannot handle. Hound is able to answer questions such “show me hotels near Times Square that cost less than $200 per night” or “show me 5 star restaurants in New York City” or “what’s the population of China and the population of Russia and the population of Japan and the population of Germany and the population of Italy”. What Hound can do, it can do pretty damn well.

I’m sure the company will continue to improve their product over time and I’ll be paying attention closely, as will Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and any other corporation that might be interested in acquiring their semi-impressive technology. Hopefully the next beta fixes the voice recognition issues and adds an easy way to access Hound, such as a homescreen widget.

What do you think of Hound? Let us know in the comments.

Derek Ross
I'm a passionate Android enthusiast that's on the pulse of the latest Android news, writing about Android as often as possible. I'm also a little addicted to social networking. Hit me up, I'd love to chat.

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  1. Video is private. (ㆆ_ㆆ)

    1. The video is public, but we’re having website difficulty and embedding isn’t working right now. You should be able to view it.

      Edit: Embedded!

      1. Hurrahya! I’ve been waiting to see a non-pitched use of this. Also, the story of how/why Google didn’t find & buy this tech already.

  2. ‘What has 98 teeth and holds back a monster?’

    1. my zipper.

  3. requested an invite, received a “congrats” email =) boo yah!

  4. The main advantage of Hound is that it can do more with one query than Google.

    Yes, if you simply ask “what is the population of China and what is the area of Washington D.C.” it seems to be a gimmick, but if you ask for “asian restaurants in my area except chinese and japanese”, there you see it’s really answering two different queries, using the output of the first query (find asian restaurants) as the input of the second query (filter out chinese and japanese), and that question is more of a real world example. With Google you have to split complex questions in multiple queries, like “who is the president of the US” followed by “how old is his wife”.

    1. So which one would you bang tho?

  5. Interesting, but not enough to pull me off Now.

  6. As long as it understands British English, and allows for British English in the voice it replies in, then I’m interested. Can’t stand that most Android services default to that annoying Yank voice. Users should be able to set it easily (i had to jump through all manner of hoops to get it to use a British accent).

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