16/08/2011

Nuance buys Loquendo

Nuance who are buying up everyone involved in text-to-speech (TTS) and speech-to-text (STT) have just purchased Loquendo from Telecom Italia for $75m.

Many TTS companies have evolved out of telecoms companies as they have had to had speech engines in their telecoms switches to announce to users call issues etc and even services such as the speaking clock - which in some countries are completely automatic. Efficient natural sounding computer generated speech is difficult to achieve and Loquendo have been leaders in this area in Europe (anyone using a TomTom device will be familiar with a Loquendo speech engine).

This adds to Nuance's already large portfolio of TTS products.

Nuance were also famous for purchasing Spinvox (for around £64m) the Marlow based company that converted voicemails into text messages, but were the probe of a BBC journalists investigation after it was alleged that voicemails were sent outside the EU in violation of data protection law for manual conversion by agents. Nuance shut the consumer division of Spinvox down to utilise their carrier connections.
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