Amazon Acquires Voice Recognition Firm, Fueling Siri Speculation
By Ian Paul
Amazon appears to have quietly acquired Yap Inc., a speech recognition start-up company, fueling speculation that the online giant is getting ready to produce a voice command service such as Apple’s Siri or Google’s Voice Actions for Android.
Amazon might be using Yap’s technology to build a speech recognition service for mobile devices, at least that’s the theory anyway. With Apple’s Siri capturing so much attention recently, speculation is centering around Amazon building a similar service for future devices. Amazon’s purported acquisition may also be an attempt to create a speech-to-text engine used in search or dictation. Or the technology could end up as a research project with Amazon’s lab126 that never sees the light of day.
Amazon is certainly getting more serious about mobile devices, so perhaps it’s no surprise the company would want to develop its own voice recognition service. The company launched its Appstore for Android in March and the Kindle Fire media tablet in September, along with a revamped line of Kindle devices. There are also reports that Amazon may be working on an 8- or 10-inch tablet for release in 2012.
The Yap-Amazon link was first reported by the Charlotte-based CTL Blog.