Network World - Amazon announced Thursday that it has acquired IVONA Software, a Polish company specializing in text-to-speech and voice recognition capabilities. The terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.
IVONA's technology is already used in Amazon products, most notably in its Kindle Fire tablets. The Kindle Fire's accessibility options - including "voice guide," which reads out the names of items or options selected by visually impaired users, and other text-to-speech features - rely on technology provided by IVONA.
According to Dave Limp, vice president of Amazon Kindle, closer integration with IVONA will be a big help to the company.
"IVONA's exceptional text-to-speech technology leads the industry in natural voice quality, accuracy and ease of use," he said in a statement. "The IVONA team shares our passion for innovation and customer obsession, and we look forward to building great products to deliver world-class voice solutions to customers around the world."
Amazon did not divulge details on what those products might be, but speculation about a possible rival to Siri and Google Now broke out quickly after the announcement was made, even though IVONA's technology is not focused on voice recognition. The statement also revived speculation about a possible Amazon phone, though that too seems to be based only on guesswork.
IVONA's CEO and co-founder, Lukasz Osowski, expressed gratitude for Amazon's backing.
"We are all thrilled that Amazon is supporting our growth so that we can continue to innovate and deliver exceptional voice and language support for our customers," he said.
Email Jon Gold at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.
Read more about software in Network World's Software section.
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- How WAN Optimization Helps Enterprises Reduce Costs If you wanted to break down innovation into a tidy equation, it might go something like this: Technology + Connectivity = Productivity. Productivity...
- Redefine Your IT Operations: Remote Office IT Has Never Been Simpler Join us to see why PC Pro named Dell PowerEdge VRTX the "2013 Server of the Year." PowerEdge VRTX may be just what...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources... All Hardware White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!