Nuance to Acquire VoiceSignal
Nuance Communications announced May 15 that it will acquire software company VoiceSignal Technologies, one of its strongest competitors in the embedded speech recognition space, for $293 million. The deal greatly expands Nuance's presence in the speech-enabled mobile solutions arena.
With the acquisition, Nuance expects to serve more than 1 billion consumers in the next three years with voice-based mobile solutions for mobile phones, for personal navigational devices, and in cars. Those services include mobile search, messaging, and voice-enabled dialing. The combined company will include among its mobile service customers the likes of AOL, AT&T, Daimler-Chrysler, Ford, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Palm, Nokia, Rogers Wireless, Samsung, Sanyo, Sony Ericsson, Sprint, RIM, T-Mobile, Toyota, and Vodafone.
"Today, more than 2 billion people worldwide rely on mobile phones to stay connected, informed, and productive. We see an expanding opportunity in helping consumers to use the powerful capabilities of their phones and to access the array of content and services available on the mobile Web," Paul Ricci, chairman and CEO of Nuance Communications, said in a statement. "We understand how to unlock the extraordinary potential of the mobile experience with speech. VoiceSignal's roster of solutions, language experience, relationships, and talented employees will help Nuance deliver on the promise of the mobile lifestyle for consumers, device manufacturers, carriers, and mobile Web content providers."
"By combining forces with Nuance, we can accelerate the realization of our common vision for mobile handsets: to eliminate the input bottleneck from small, mobile device keypads and make accessible to users the full power of mobile devices," said Rich Geruson, CEO of VoiceSignal. "Joining Nuance's assets with our capabilities in mobile positions the company well in the exciting, dynamic market of mobile search, where a voice interface will be the key to unlock its potential."