Amazon-Kindle-Fire-In-Hand

Amazon announced on Thursday that it has acquired IVONA Software, a firm that creates text-to-speech, explore-by-touch and voice-guide technologies on Amazon’s existing Kindle Fire Android tablets. Is a Siri competitor on the way?

Possibly, although IVONA doesn’t currently work to scour the web in the way that Siri or Google Search/Google Now do. We do think that’s probably the end goal, though, especially since Amazon said it hopes to continue building new products with the firm. “IVONA’s exceptional text-to-speech technology leads the industry in natural voice quality, accuracy and ease of use. IVONA is already instrumental in helping us deliver excellent accessibility features on Kindle Fire, including Text-to-Speech, Voice Guide and Explore by Touch,” said Dave Limp, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “The IVONA team shares our passion for innovation and customer obsession, and we look forward to building great products to deliver world-class voice solutions to customers around the world.”

Neither IVONA nor Amazon disclosed the acquisition price.

Amazon.com Announces Acquisition of IVONA Software

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 24, 2013– (NASDAQ:AMZN)—Amazon.com, Inc. today announced that it has acquired leading text-to-speech technology company IVONA Software. IVONA delivers world-class technologies that power the “Text-to-Speech,” “Voice Guide” and “Explore by Touch” features on Kindle Fire tablets. Additionally, IVONA delivers text-to-speech products and services for thousands of developers, businesses and customers around the world.“IVONA’s exceptional text-to-speech technology leads the industry in natural voice quality, accuracy and ease of use. IVONA is already instrumental in helping us deliver excellent accessibility features on Kindle Fire, including Text-to-Speech, Voice Guide and Explore by Touch,” said Dave Limp, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “The IVONA team shares our passion for innovation and customer obsession, and we look forward to building great products to deliver world-class voice solutions to customers around the world.”

“For more than ten years, the IVONA team has been focused on creating innovative text-to-speech technologies,” said Lukasz Osowski, CEO and co-founder of IVONA. “We are all thrilled that Amazon is supporting our growth so that we can continue to innovate and deliver exceptional voice and language support for our customers.”

IVONA offers voice and language portfolios with 44 voices in 17 languages and more in development.