Amazon Acquires Text-To-Speech Firm Ivona To Take On Apple's Siri

25 January 2013, 8:11 am EST By Binu Paul email: Mobile & Apps

Siri has been moderately successful, though not the best voice recognition option in the market and Apple wants to make it the best personal assistant and so, the Cupertino-tech giant recently posted a job listing looking for creative writer who can help the team evolve Siri 'as a distinct, recognizable character.'

It seems Apple has a new competitor in the market as Amazon is eying to develop more Siri-like services with its acquisition of text-to-speech technology company Ivona Software. Amazon has officially announced that it acquired the Polish-based Ivona, which already supports several Kindle Fire features such as text-to-speech, explore by touch and voice guide.

"The IVONA team shares our passion for innovation and customer obsession, and we look forward to building great products to deliver world-class voice solutions to customers around the world," Dave Limp, Vice President, Amazon Kindle said in a statement.

While Siri delivers answers to questions or suggest possible actions to iPhone users, the Ivona technology reads Kindle e-books aloud to Amazon's Kindle Fire HD users. According to the Amazon press note, Ivona team will continue to innovate and develop its voice systems inside Amazon.

The Ivona innovations will be directed towards enhancing the digital speech services offered by Kindle Fire to compete with similar services offered by Samsung's S-Voice, Google Now and iPhone Siri. It is heavily rumored that Amazon will produce its own smartphones in the future and this acquisition will definitely help Amazon to add a quality voice service feature to its phones. "IVONA's exceptional text-to-speech technology leads the industry in natural voice quality, accuracy and ease of use. IVONA is already instrumental in helping us deliver excellent accessibility features on Kindle Fire, including Text-to-Speech, Voice Guide and Explore by Touch," Limp said which vaguely refers to its future products.

The Ivona service is available for 44 voices in 17 languages which would add more value to Amazon's core content that is based on reading and reading in different formats.

Meanwhile, as mentioned above, Apple is engaged in a relentless endeavor to develop Siri to a new level where the app can be identified more as a personality to which its users would be able to develop an emotional bond with. Aiming to achieve this feat, the recent Apple job posting said it's looking for a developer who can develop and write original dialog that can be explained in engaging, funny, and practical ways.

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