Amazon and Nuance Sign a New Pact, Could Result in Siri-Like Capabilities on Kindle Devices

Amazon Licenses “Mobile and Consumer” Technologies from Nuance, A Provider of Voice Solutions

by Anton Shilov
08/08/2013 | 11:05 PM

Nuance Communications, a leading provider of voice and language solutions for businesses and consumers, has announced in its financial results for the quarter that Amazon, the biggest online store operator in the world and a provider of Kindle-branded media tablets and e-books, has signed a new agreement with Nuance. No details about the agreement have been revealed, but it looks like Amazon might be developing something akin to Apple’s Siri.

 

Amazon is rumoured to be working on its own smartphones and set-top-boxes in addition to next-generation media tablets. While the latter do not necessarily need voice controls and things like that, smartphones and STBs can greatly benefit from such technologies. Currently Kindle Fire feature text-to-speech, voice guide and explore by touch speech recognition functions enabled by technologies developed by Ivona Software, a company that Amazon acquired earlier this year.

Nuance Communications is among market leaders when it comes to voice and language solutions. Therefore, Amazon could license certain technologies from Nuance in case it was actually working on improving current features designed by Ivona.

During the fiscal quarter ended on June 30, 2013, Nuance said its mobile & consumer business unit “secured new business or design wins with key mobile customers”, including Amazon, which has not announced any new technologies during the quarter. Moreover, even the announcement of the agreement itself was not made public, something that indicates that the two companies wanted the deal not to appear on any radar.

During the quarter, Nuance also signed new agreements with Apple, HTC, Huawei and Samsung; nonetheless, the companies have collaborated for years now. With Amazon, the pact seems to be the first one and may point to all-new services by the online trade giant. The business unit earned $111 million revenue during the quarter.

Amazon and Nuance did not comment on the news-story.