Print 8 comment(s) - last by Rukkian.. on Apr 19 at 10:20 AM

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, 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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Not Understanding the Logic Here
By Reclaimer77 on 4/18/2013 3:44:10 PM , Rating: 2
Can someone help me figure out why they would bother spending so much money to acquire these technologies, when they're using a version of Android anyway, and could just go with Google Now/Voice?

Just seems like such a massive investment into something that would NEVER pay itself back. When there are already better, more easily accessible, services on the market already baked-into Android.

By theapparition on 4/19/2013 9:44:38 AM , Rating: 2
Can someone help me figure out why they would bother spending so much money to acquire these technologies, when they're using a version of Android anyway, and could just go with Google Now/Voice?

Sure. The Kindle products use a skinned version of Android (which is open source), but do NOT use any of Google apps. That means no Play store, Maps, Gmail, etc......and that includes Google Now/Voice.

So right now, unless Amazon pays Google for their apps, they can't include them. I believe you also can't install them a-la-carte either. Google's licensing requires the entire suite. And Amazon has absolutely no intention of including Google's Play Store.

By Rukkian on 4/19/2013 10:20:39 AM , Rating: 2
I am not saying I agree with it, but the reason probably has something to do with what needs to be done to get the google apps. If you want access to google apps, you have to abide by certain terms and have the play store as well as far as I know. They want to get people not be reliant on Google, and to come to Amazon for everything. They do not sell hardware for profit, it is all a way to get people to use their other lines of business.

This is why their Kindle Fire has a forked version with no access to google play.

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