updated 10:50 am EDT, Thu June 16, 2011
Nuance takes over SVOX for natural mobile voice
Nuance gave a clue as to its future mobile plans with Apple and others on Thursday with the acquisition of SVOX. The takeover target, best known for voice commands in cars and home electronics, would spur on the effort of natural-language voice control on not just cars but smartphones and other devices.
Among the upgrades, SVOX would help with "hybrid cloud-embedded voice platforms," Nuance said. The newcomer is equally adept at dealing with reducing echo and other sounds to improve voice recognition.
No price was mentioned for the deal, nor when the two companies expected the deal to close.
The acquisition comes just as users have confirmed the presence of Nuance in iOS 5 despite no mention of it during Apple's WWDC keynote. According to leaks, the company would provide natural voice commands separate from those in Voice Control and would use the North Carolina datacenter to process the results. Many suspect it will be used mostly for online searches and tasks given Apple's buyout of Siri.