Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Applications
Tame your scariest paperwork. Find Out How
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Did Amazon Buy Ivona Voice-Text Tech To Build its Own Siri?
Did Amazon Buy Ivona Voice-Text Tech To Build its Own Siri?

By Jennifer LeClaire
January 24, 2013 2:04PM

    Bookmark and Share
Amazon has just acquired Ivona Software, a company that offers voice and language portfolios with 44 voices in 17 languages, and more in development. Of course, Amazon would have to do plenty more development on Ivona to make it a Siri competitor. That's because Siri is more than voice recognition software -- it's an intelligent assistant.
 



In a move that has some wondering if the e-tailing giant plans to challenge Apple on the Siri front, Amazon on Thursday announced the acquisition of a text-to-speech technology company. Amazon purchased Ivona Software for an undisclosed amount.

Amazon and Gdynia, Poland-based Ivona are not strangers. Ivona's technologies power several features on the Kindle Fire tablets. Beyond Amazon, Ivona also delivers text-to-speech products and services for thousands of developers, businesses and customers globally, including the Royal National Institute of Blind People.

"Ivona is already instrumental in helping us deliver excellent accessibility features on Kindle Fire, including Text-to-Speech, Voice Guide and Explore by Touch," said Dave Limp, vice president of Kindle at Amazon. Limp did not indicate what more Amazon would do with the technology, but hinted that the company looks forward to "building great products to deliver world-class voice solutions to customers around the world."

Compared to Siri

Ivona offers voice and language portfolios with 44 voices in 17 languages, and more in development. Of course, Amazon would have to do plenty more development on Ivona to make it a Siri competitor. That's because Siri is more than voice recognition software -- it's an intelligent assistant.

Siri understands context, allowing you to speak naturally when you ask it questions, for example, if you ask, "Will I need an umbrella this weekend?" it understands you are looking for a weather forecast.

Siri is also smart about using the personal information you allow it to access, for example, if you tell Siri, "Remind me to call Mom when I get home" it can find "Mom" in your iPhone's address book; or ask Siri, "What's the traffic like around here?" and it can figure out where "here" is based on your GPS location.

Room for All

But it seems Ivona could be further developed into an intelligent assistant. And Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, told us there will be plenty of opportunity as we head into a future that promises a paradigm shift in the way people interact with technology.

"Instead of using one device to interface with another device -- like using a mouse or a keyboard to interface with the computer -- the touch-enablement we are seeing in smartphones and tablets and the increasing availability of voice recognition as a way of interfacing with a computing-style device is become increasingly common," King said.

King predicts there will not be a single type of voice recognition technology used across platforms. Instead, he expects the major players, namely Apple and Google and now Amazon, to enhance their brands with discreet types of voice recognition and voice command software.

"I find myself wondering how much difference there can be," he said. "When you talk about one vendor or another's voice recognition software it's kind of like talking about the difference between the online shopping experience you have with one site or another. But it's going to be a pretty big deal from the end-user perspective."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Applications
1.   Target App Makes Shopping a Snap
2.   Cisco Woos More Devs with DevNet
3.   How Chrome Eats Your Battery Life
4.   Investor Wants EMC To Spin Off VMware
5.   Amazon Launches E-Book Subscriptions


advertisement
Cisco Woos More Devs with DevNet
To create new network-aware apps.
Average Rating:
Mobile Apps Offer Last-Minute Deals
Along with spontaneity and surprise.
Average Rating:
Amazon Launches E-Book Subscriptions
Kindle Unlimited will run $9.99 a month.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 
Contrary to Report, Lenovo's Staying in Small Windows Tablets
Device maker Lenovo has clarified a report that indicated it is getting out of the small Windows tablet business -- as in the ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. But the firm said it is not exiting that market.
 
Seagate Unveils Networked Drives for Small Businesses
Seagate is out with five new networked attached storage products aimed at small businesses. The drives are for companies with up to 50 workers, and range in capacity from two to 20 terabytes.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.