Amazon buys text-to-speech software company Ivona
By Alistair Barr | January 25, 2013 8:14 AM EST
Amazon.com Inc said on Thursday it acquired text-to-speech technology company Ivona Software, a sign that the world's largest Internet retailer may be looking to develop more services similar to Apple Inc's Siri voice-based search product.
An Amazon spokeswoman declined to say how much the company paid for Ivona.
Ivona's technology already supports several features on Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet computers, such as text-to-speech, said Dave Limp, who oversees the Kindle business.
"We look forward to building great products to deliver world-class voice solutions to customers around the world," Limp said in a statement.
Apple's Siri service on its iPhone smartphones allows users to ask questions and it delivers answers, or suggests possible actions. Ivona's text-to-speech technology on Amazon's Kindle Fire HD tablets reads Kindle e-books aloud to users.
"The Ivona acquisition could provide some technology on the Kindle to compete with Siri, although I would argue that Siri has not been all that was expected of it so far," said Kerry Rice, an analyst at Needham & Co.
Ivona could also help Amazon expand its e-book market to more people with disabilities, such as the blind, Rice added.
Ivona already works with organizations that support visually impaired people, including the Royal National Institute of Blind People.
Amazon shares rose 2.2 percent to $274.15 in afternoon trading on Thursday and hit a record $276.65 in earlier action.
(Reporting By Alistair Barr; editing by Gunna Dickson; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
Join the Conversation
- Revealed: Vladimir Putin Plotting To Invade Europe – Report
- 5 Proofs Russia is Geared-Up for Shooting War with U.S. and Can Win Future Nuclear Showdown
- Target’s ‘Surprise Doorbusters’ Black Friday 2014 Deals On TV Sets, Entertainment Centres, DVD Players And More
- IKEA Black Friday 2014 Ad Includes Discounts On Home Furnishings, Appliances, Kitchen Designs, Beds, Sofas, Mattresses And Toys
- T-Mobile’s Black Friday 2014 Deals On Apple iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy Note 4/Edge, Nexus 6, HTC One M8, LG G3, iPad Air 2 And Mini 3
- ISIS Drug Transit From Afghanistan To Europe Confirmed By Russia: Money Goes Into Terror Funding And In New Recruitments
- Bill Clinton At It Again, Caught By Camera In Jerusalem Peeking At Woman’s Breast