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Amazon eyes Siri with acquisition of voice recognition firm

Retailer buys Ivona Software
Thu Jan 24 2013, 15:40

RETAIL BEHEMOTH Amazon announced its acquisition of voice recognition firm Ivona Software today, in a bid to challenge Apple's voice driven digital assistant Siri.

Ivona Software specialises in voice recognition technology, Amazon explained, and powers features such as "Text-to-Speech", "Voice Guide" and "Explore by Touch". Ivona offers voice and language portfolios with 44 voices in 17 languages, more than the 15 languages supported by Apple's virtual digital assistant.

While details of the buyout were not disclosed, Amazon said that its purchase of Ivona will see the company's technologies coming to its Kindle tablets and, if online speculation is anything to go by, its rumoured Kindle smartphone too.

Amazon Kindle VP Dave Limp said,"Ivona's exceptional text-to-speech technology leads the industry in natural voice quality, accuracy and ease of use. Ivona is already instrumental in helping us deliver excellent accessibility features on Kindle Fire, including Text-to-Speech, Voice Guide and Explore by Touch."

"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."

We've contacted Amazon for further information, but it has not yet responded to our request for comment. µ


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