Earlier this week Sound Hound released a new personal assistant called Hound. Shortly after it was released Hound put up a video demonstrating some of Hound’s features along with a demo showing off its speech recognition capabilities. You can find the video here. When it comes to comparing the two personal assistants they are very similar but also very different. Hound is capable of answering very complex queries such as “Show me Asian restaurants excluding Chinese and Japanese” or “Show me hotels in NewYork above 3 stars with free WiFi”. But, there are also simple answers that it can’t answer that Google Now has been able to answer for years like “How old is the president”. In terms of speed, I believe that Hound is better although they are both very fast. (Hound isn’t as fast as the demo video makes it out to be… The video may have been sped up.) Hound is able to answer extremely complex queries such as “tell me about hotels in Austin that have at least two stars, cost less than $200 per night, are pet-friendly, and have WiFi.”.
At the end of the day there is no real winner, both assistances have their advantages and disadvantages. Hound can answer very specific questions, but it doesn’t have access to Google Now. So, it doesn’t know your flight information from your emails and it doesn’t have access to Google’s knowledge graphs so it can’t answer questions like “What year was Ronald Reagan born”, although it will provide you with Bing search results. Eventually, I think it would be nice if Hound was acquired by Google and they integrated its technology into Google Now and made some sort of hybrid assistant. But that is nothing but a dream at this point. For the meanwhile, we will have to wait and see how Google reacts or if they will react at all. This is a video from 9to5google comparing Hound and Google Now.