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This could mean another step closer to an Amazon smartphone

Amazon has reportedly acquired a Siri-like app for $26 million, which could possibly hint at the launch of an Amazon-made smartphone in the near future. 

A new report from TechCrunch says that Amazon acquired UK startup True Knowledge, which is responsible for creating Evi -- a Siri-like voice app -- for $26 million. 

True Knowledge licensed Nuance's voice recognition technology and coupled it with its own engine to make Evi. Evi uses natural language text to understand what a user wants and means. It is even capable of learning about a user. 

Evi is an app compatible with any Android or iPhone smartphone. 

This isn't Amazon's first voice recognition purchase this year. In January, the e-tailer bought Polish-based voice technology company Ivona Software, which competes with Nuance in text-to-speech technology. 

What Amazon plans to do with both Evi and Ivona is not clear yet, but some suspect that a Siri-like competitor for an Amazon smartphone is in the works. Amazon has already stepped into the hardware ring with its Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets (as well as its own, custom-made version of the Android operating system for the Fire), so it's very likely that the company could create a Siri competitor for its own handset in the future. 

In December 2012, it was reported that Foxconn had already manufactured a new handset model for Amazon (which is rumored to have a 4-5 inch display). Touch panel makers J Touch Corp. and Young Fast Optoelectronics Co. were rumored to be in on the new smartphone's development as well.

According to a report by CENS.com, Amazon's first smartphone will launch between the second and third quarter of 2013 and the e-tailer may ship as many as five million units for the year.


Source: TechCrunch



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Lawsuit
By Motoman on 4/18/2013 1:05:36 PM , Rating: 3
I'm sure that Apple has patented "talking to inanimate objects."

At least I would assume so - granted that Apple and it's Macolytes are all loons, and loons tend to talk to inanimate objects a lot...




RE: Lawsuit
By Ammohunt on 4/18/2013 2:20:00 PM , Rating: 2
You have never refereed to a car or truck as "she" and baby talked her into starting for you when you needed her too? I must be a loon!


RE: Lawsuit
By Nortel on 4/18/2013 3:06:10 PM , Rating: 2
When inanimate objects can talk back is when you know you're ok.


RE: Lawsuit
By xti on 4/18/2013 4:13:35 PM , Rating: 2
i just called you an idiot, cept it was to the computer...loon here.


RE: Lawsuit
By Solandri on 4/18/2013 8:23:43 PM , Rating: 2
Just in case anyone enamored with Apple does try to make that claim, here's a voice recognition-based digital assistant which I heard advertised on the radio in 1996.
http://www.businessweek.com/1996/16/b3471119.htm


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