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Nuance and Ford Reveal Exciting Natural Language Speech Capabilities for Next-Generation of SYNC

Nuance and Ford Make it Even Easier to Talk to Your Car; Advancements in Speech Found in MyFord Touch Powered by Next-Generation SYNC

Las Vegas (CES 2010) and Burlington, MA, January 7, 2010 – Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) today announced that Nuance and Ford have unveiled significant enhancements to the speech capabilities powering the next-generation of Ford SYNC™, the Ford-exclusive factory-installed, in-car communications and entertainment system that has changed the way people use digital media, portable music players and mobile phones in their vehicles, and addresses the increasing need for driver and passenger safety in interactive automotive environments.

Taking advantage of Nuance’s innovations in speech recognition and natural language understanding, Ford has enhanced the renowned SYNC voice user interface that will power the new MyFord Touch driver connect technology launching in 2010. The new technology provides consumers with an incredibly easy way to use their voice for a variety of commands that not only provides a state-of-the-art in-car experience, but ultimately minimizes the dangerous visual and manual distractions posed by traditional systems.

“The Ford SYNC system has received an overwhelmingly positive response since its inception, as it helps people safely interact with MP3 players, navigation systems and mobile phones with simple, natural voice commands that work well and reduce overall in-car distractions,” said Jim Buczkowski, Global Director of Electrical Engineering at Ford Motor. “By integrating the newest innovations in voice technology, we’ve underscored our commitment to providing our customers with a truly unique and captivating in-car experience that sets Ford apart from any other vehicle on the road.”

The next-generation of Ford’s exclusive SYNC system takes advantage of Nuance’s innovations in natural language understanding speech to recognize more than 10,000 first level commands, giving customers the ability to truly have a conversation with their cars with commands that require less structure. New features include:

  • One-Shot Destination Entry. Users can now simply speak their commands for navigation, both when entering a full address in one utterance, as well as when searching for points of interest. For instance, “Find me the closest Italian restaurant” or “1 Wayside Road, Burlington, Massachusetts” will generate local results that drivers can continue to navigate to that destination just by saying “take me there.”
  • Flexible, voice-activated control of the entire infotainment unit. Nuance’s natural language understanding takes hands-free in-car entertainment commands to the next level with flexible, natural music selection capabilities that quickly and easily recognize a variety of pronunciations. Users can search for music titles and artist, album, or playlist names, and select any of the SIRIUS satellite programs and channels by simply speaking the type of music, sports or news program they’re interested in, like “Jazz channel” or “Metropolitan Opera Radio.”
  • Voice commands extended to the SIRIUS Travel Link information portal that provides drivers and passengers with access to up-to-the-minute information and entertainment content, such as sports scores, current weather, traffic, fuel prices, or movies listings, simply by saying “I want to know what gas costs” or “Get me NFL scores.”

And as Ford SYNC’s popularity continues to spread worldwide, Nuance has made it possible to support commands in US English, US Spanish, Canadian French, Brazilian Portuguese, German, European French, UK English, Italian, European Spanish, European Portuguese, Dutch and Mandarin Chinese. Ford SYNC will be available in Europe on the all-new 2012 Ford Focus.

Nuance’s extended relationship will also allow Ford to tap into Nuance’s professional services team for porting, application development, speech UI design and implementation, tuning, testing and ultimately integration, enabling continued speech innovation.

“Ford is truly an innovator in providing cutting edge voice-activated in-car communications,” said Michael Thompson, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Nuance Mobile. “In-car distractions resulting from visual confirmation and manual input in-car systems and devices are at an all-time high, so drivers and passengers need speech recognition solutions that work well and are easy to use. By working directly with Ford on the continuous development of its SYNC technology, we’re able to bring innovative mobile input solutions to market in the places where hands-free solutions are in the highest demand.”

For more information and a demonstration of Ford SYNC, please visit www.syncmyride.com/.

About Nuance Automotive

As a leading supplier of speech components to automotive OEMs and vendors, Nuance Communications offers an integrated suite of technologies and services to enable voice-activated dialing, voice destination entry for navigation systems, vehicle command and control, and in-vehicle entertainment systems. The company’s speech recognition and text-to-speech software deliver state-of-the-art performance and a rich set of features and tools tailored for the highly demanding automotive environment.

Nuance Communications, Inc.

Nuance is a leading provider of speech and imaging solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with information and how they create, share and use documents. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications and professional services. For more information, please visit www.nuance.com.

Nuance and the Nuance logo are trademarks, registered trademarks or brands of Nuance Communications, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States of America and other countries. All other companies or product names are the property of the respective owners.

The statements in this press release, relating to future plans or future events or services, are forward-looking statements which are subject to specific risks and uncertainties. There are a number of factors which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those indicated in such forward looking statements, including fluctuations in demand for the Nuance products, the relationship with its partner and the continued development of Nuance products. The reader is warned not to rely on these forward-looking statements without reservation, since these are simply reflections of the current situation. Nuance disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this document.