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Samsung might buy Nuance, the speech recognition behind Siri, S Voice, and more

News by Andrew Kameka on Monday June 16, 2014.

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Nuance Communications could be the latest company to be snapped up by a larger tech conglomerate. Samsung and Nuance, a company that specializes in speech recognition technology, have discussed a possible sale; however, the seriousness of those talks is unclear, so they may not lead to any deal being made. Any potential deal would be costly because Nuance's market cap was at $5.5 billion prior to the Wall Street Journal reporting on a possible sale, which led to a spike in trading.

Best known as the company behind its own Dragon Voice speech recognition and licensing for Siri, Nuance is one of the largest players in speech recognition and voice command systems. Since 2006, it has acquired more than 40 companies, most of which specialize in vocal search and interaction with computers. Gesture-based keyboard Swype is also another product owned by Nuance and licensed by other companies, including Samsung. Samsung uses Swype in its Touchwiz keyboard, and Nuance is what powers the S Voice behind the scenes. Samsung acquiring Nuance would bring the company's knowledge in house and conceivably strengthen some mobile products.

Wearable products might be an obvious place to integrate Nuance into Samsung. Tizen smart watches and smart phones could benefit from an influx in talent and experience. Intel, which partners with Samsung to develop Tizen, also uses Nuance's Dragon Assistant in its products. It's unclear how, if at all, how Samsung owning Nuance would affect the company's relationship with other vendors like Apple or Intel.

source: Wall Street Journal

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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