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Zypr launches, aims to bring voice control to every device

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Pioneer today launched Zypr, which aims to be a universal voice interface compatible with any device.


Remember Jarvis, Tony Stark's chatty computerized assistant in Iron Man? Pioneer wants to bring something similar to everyday consumers. The company's launched Zypr, which aims to bring a single voice control system to every device you use — your car, your phone, your computer, even your refrigerator. It's designed to work like Siri, so you can say "play Coldplay" or "what's the weather going to be in Brooklyn on Thursday?" and get a useful response. (There's not as much artificial intelligence with Zypr, though, so asking the meaning of life won't get you far.)

Zypr is already integrated with services like Google, Slacker Radio, Yelp, Twitter, and Facebook, and Pioneer says it's working to add many more to the list. It's not a replacement for any of those services, but a way to use them in places like the car, to grab the address from a Facebook event and send it to your GPS. Manufacturers can build Zypr into their products, and customize the service as they'd like — being cross-platform is critical to Zypr's vision vision of an interface that works in the same way on every device.

We'd love a Jarvis as much as anyone, but there are hurdles aplenty for Zypr: adding and maintaining every service people want is a huge undertaking, and as we've seen with Android leaving customization in the hands of manufacturers is a dangerous game. Convincing manufacturers to use Zypr instead of a proprietary solution is also going to be a challenge — Pioneer wouldn't tell us who they're working with, except to say that it has big-name partners. (One is presumably OnStar, which demoed a car using its "MyNetwork" services, powered by Zypr, back in January.)

There's no timeline for when we'll start seeing Zypr devices on the market, but the company expects it to be very soon. Below, find a video from Pioneer describing a little more about what Zypr's trying to do.