SVOX Acquires Siemens' Speech Unit

SVOX—a provider of embedded speech solutions for the automotive and mobile industries—acquired the Professional Speech Processing Group of Siemens, the company announced today. 

Included in the deal was all of Siemens’ speech-related intellectual property developed during the past 25 years, including the SpeechAdvance speech recognition product suite and more than 60 patent families.

Because of the acquisition, SVOX will be able to offer its own automatic speech recognition (ASR) products and complete speech dialogue solutions, a move that will allow the company to reinforce its position in embedded speech solutions for the automotive and mobile phone industry.

According to Alexander Davydov, marketing strategist at SVOX, the acquisition means that SVOX no longer needs to combine its own text-to-speech (TTS) products with the ASR products of other companies to deliver full speech solutions. “Now we are able to offer a complete set of speech solutions,” he says. “Now we are in a position to offer the whole suite. So that will be enormous synergy there.”

Prior to the acquisition, Davydov says SVOX had been working with Siemens “all the time” because many SVOX customers were already choosing to pair the two companies’ technologies.

“In that sense, there was already, for some years, some cooperation between the two units,” he says. “All significant players in this market, they all have both TTS and ASR. So for that reason there was strategic intentions for SVOX to acquire ASR technology…And Siemens has very strong technology.”

According to Davydov, the acquisition is a boon for SVOX customers, who can now simply come to SVOX and get a complete solution. This one-stop shopping will make things simpler for customers and reduce the complexity inherent to combining various products from different suppliers. “The combined solution would be more than just the sum of two parts,” he says. “There would be some synergies.”

Although Davydov said it was too early to talk about any impending product announcements, he noted the main focus at SVOX would likely be Polyglot TTS, miniaturization for mobile devices, and natural language understanding technologies.

The majority of the employees at Siemens’ Professional Speech Processing Group, with offices in Munich and Berlin, will be integrated into SVOX’s operations in Munich. SVOX is headquartered in Switzerland.

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