Waze gets wake word with Sensory’s TrulyHandsfree speech recognition

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If you’ve never used Waze before you should really give it a try. It’s by far one of the best navigation apps for mobile phones. Waze isn’t just any old navigation app, it’s a community of users helping each other. The beauty of the app is the ability to report road conditions, problems and incidents through the app to help each other on your commute. It’s really a very handy tool even if you already know your way around your city or town.

Now, the company is announcing that Waze will be getting its own wake word thanks to speech recognition technology company Sensory. Just say “OK Waze” to navigate, report jams, and more without touching the screen. Voice-triggered commands are the most convenient and safest way to engage with the app and report on road incidents while allowing drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.


Reporting traffic conditions via the app through visuals is a potential accident waiting to happen. With Sensory’s speech recognition built into the app, that potential problem is eliminated.


  • Brings expanded dialogue capabilities – a seamless navigation experience by voice from start to destination while keeping eyes on the road
  • Waze continues to innovate on safety: this is one of the multiple features that support safer driving habits
  • Starting in English-speaking countries and will expand to additional languages in the future
  • Powered by TrulyHandsfree from Sensory Inc.

Thanks to Sensory’s TrulyHandsfree technology, the entire navigation experience from entering a destination address, to sending a report of a pothole or accident, can be done hands-free simply by starting with the command “OK Waze!”

What do you think of having voice commands for Waze? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, or Facebook.

Read the full press release


Sensory Expands Waze Voice Command Feature, Adds “OK Waze” to Enable TrulyHandsfree Driving

Sensory’s TrulyHandsfree always-listening voice control lets Waze users set destinations, add stops and notify other drivers of road hazards and more via voice without taking their eyes off the road

Santa Clara, Calif., – November 29, 2017 – Sensory Inc., a leader in speech and vision technologies that enhance the user experience and security of consumer electronics, today announced that its technology is now available within the popular Waze app to expand the service’s voice command feature. TrulyHandsfree™, Sensory’s top-selling software solution, will allow Waze users to set destinations, report traffic jams, get an ETA, learn of alternate routes and more by saying “OK Waze” followed by their voice command. For example, users can say, “OK Waze, drive home,” and the app will automatically set the destination to Home. (The app must be open in the foreground of the user’s device.)

“By working with Sensory we’ve been able further enhance the Waze user experience by making voice control more natural to activate and easier to use,” said Dudu Noy, Product Team, Waze. “Rather than using a screen tap as was necessary previously, it’s fun and fast to say ‘OK Waze!’ and tell the app what you’d like to do next. We’ve added a variety of new commands, like ‘What’s my next turn?’ and ‘When will I get there?’ There’s lots to discover whether you’re a new driver or longtime Wazer.”

Introduced in 2009, TrulyHandsfree revolutionized voice user interfaces by offering the first commercially successful embedded small vocabulary speech recognition system to feature an always-listening wake word. Incorporating Sensory’s smartest and most efficient deep neural network technologies to date, TrulyHandsfree takes embedded voice interfaces to new heights, offering an on-device voice user interface experience that is more natural and intuitive than ever before, while a new shallow learning approach compresses the model sizes down to run in ultra-low power and with minimal memory and MIPS. Today, TrulyHandsfree can be found in leading mobile phones, apps, action cameras, IoT devices, and even toys!

“I love the Waze app, and I have been an avid user for years, but without a passenger in the car I don’t utilize all the features because I avoid touching the screen while driving. Adding the trigger word to activate voice commands is the perfect solution, and I’m excited to have Sensory be a part of it” said Todd Mozer, CEO of Sensory. “TrulyHandsfree is currently used to recognize OK Google, Alexa, Cortana, Hey Siri, and several dozen other products on the market. It’s awesome to add OK Waze to that mix!”

TrulyHandsfree is the most widely deployed embedded speech recognition engine in the world, having enabled a hands-free voice user experience on more than 2 billion devices from leading brands worldwide. It runs on all major OS’s including Linux, Android, iOS, and Windows as well as customized low power support for dozens of proprietary DSPs, microcontrollers, smart microphones and other low-power platforms.

About Sensory Inc.

Sensory Inc. creates a safer and superior UX through vision and voice technologies. Sensory’s technologies are widely deployed in consumer electronics applications including mobile phones, automotive, wearables, toys, IoT and various home electronics. Sensory’s product line includes TrulyHandsfree voice control, TrulySecure biometric authentication, and TrulyNatural large vocabulary natural language embedded speech recognition. Sensory’s technologies have shipped in over a billion units of leading consumer products. Visit Sensory at www.sensory.com

TrulyHandsfree is trademark of Sensory Inc.

Last Updated on November 29, 2017.


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