Nuance to Acquire Mobile Speech Software Provider Vlingo

Consolidating the rapidly growing market for voice recognition systems and services, Nuance Communications is in the process of acquiring Vlingo, a provider of mobile voice recognition and analysis software, the two companies announced Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Nuance plans to uses Vlingo's resources -- personnel, research and technologies -- to aid in the development of its own next generation natural language interfaces, according to Nuance.

Founded in 2006, Vlingo offers Virtual Assistant, which is speech recognition software for mobile devices such as Android phones. Nuance itself offers the popular Dragon line of voice recognition systems for consumers, as well as software for automated call-center systems.

Although widely used in automated help systems for some time now, voice recognition and associated natural language processing technologies have received more attention of late, thanks to Apple's adding to the iPhone the Siri voice recognition, which uses some of Nuance's technology.

Nuance predicts that the market for virtual assistants and voice-enabled capabilities will top $5 billion in annual sales, as the technology is added into more phones, tablets, cars, televisions and other consumer and business devices.

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