Amazon snaps up Yap for Kindle voice commands
Amazon may be quietly if unintentionally gunning after Apple's Siri with future Kindles, a newly discovered SEC filing (PDF) has revealed. Using a shell company known as Dion Acquisition Sub to keep the deal out of its usual SEC filings, Amazon has bought Yap, which had a voicemail-to-text service but had also focused heavily on natural-language speech recognition and an emphasis on mobile technology. Although terms of the deal were kept secret, the takeover left little question as to Amazon's involvement, since Dion's headquarters was at 410 Terry Avenue in Seattle, owned solely by Amazon.
Leak has new Kindle a cautious update
First details of the next-generation Kindle may have been given away in a rumor late Friday. A pair of sources claim it will be a safe update that will be thinner and carry a faster, higher-resolution E Ink display. It should ship in August but won't, however, have color or a touchscreen.
Amazon wants major Kindle games, new hires
Amazon has been talking to game developers to support a new version of the Kindle, leaks from the bookseller pointed out on Monday. The publishers weren't named but would be providing titles in sync with the new e-reader. Amazon hasn't commented on the NYT claims.
Lab126 hiring to advance Kindle web experience
Amazon plans a larger role for the web browser on the Kindle, the company has let slip through a job listing for its e-reader division, Lab126. A position for a Software Development Engineer has been specifically tasked with improving on the Kindle's basic, "experimental" browser with new features. While no hints exist of new features, the engineer would be part of a dedicated web browser team, suggesting Amazon is now taking the software more seriously.
Amazon job posts hint color Kindle and more
Amazon has hinted at a significant change in the philosophy behind its Kindle readers with job listings at its hardware design group Lab126. One, for a Hardware Display Manager, asks for a veteran recruit with experience in the LCD market and suggests Amazon might move away from e-paper displays. It has normally used companies like E Ink (now owned by PVI) exclusively for its e-book readers.
PVI says e-paper to be faster, brighter this year
PVI chairman Scott Liu today told the press that his company will produce some of the earliest fully touchscreen and motion-capable e-paper displays this year. Current screens often need a separate touchscreen layer and are too slow to show video or other animations, but screens with either feature should be ready by the end of 2010. PVI's touchscreen technique would put the touch underneath the e-paper and eliminate the unintentional dimming of the display, a problem that has affected e-readers from Sony and others.
Amazon may have bought Touchco
Amazon has bought small startup to bring touchscreens to the Kindle, a purported insider said today. The bookseller is believed to have bought Touchco to roll it into Lab126, the same division responsible for Amazon's e-book reader. Conditions for the deal weren't mentioned to the NYT in the leak, and neither of the involved partners has agreed to comment.