Amazon recently quietly purchased Yap, a Charlotte-based company that specializes in voice-to-text technology. CLTBlog, a Charlotte-focused website, discovered a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that doesn’t actually name Amazon as the purchaser of Yap, but it does attribute the acquisition to a company called “Dion Acquisition Sub,” and the “Surviving Corporation” listed by the SEC has the same address as an Amazon.com office located on 410 Terry Avenue in Seattle, Washington. Read on for more. More →
Microsoft’s internal Tellme team is working on implementing speech recognition software into the Redmond-based firm’s portfolio of software and hardware products. Microsoft will build the feature into its new Windows 8 operating system, its Bing search engine, Windows Phone, Kinect and Xbox, Azure and other products, ZDNET has learned. We already know Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Phone Mango release will offer voice-to-text and text-to-voice functionality, but Tellme senior director of sales and marketing Ilya Bukshteyn told ZDNET‘s Mary Jo Foley that the HTML 5 speech tag will allow Microsoft to develop Windows 8 applications that are “speech capable.” The Tellme team is capable of taking conversational speech, querying your social networks and creating appointments, too. For example, one might say “I’m meeting Zach Epstein for sushi in Philadelphia on Wednesday,” and the voice-recognition tech can pull “Zach Epstein” from LinkedIn or Facebook, setup a calendar event and search for sushi in Philadelphia using Bing. Of note, it looks like we’re still several years away from seeing devices capable of deciphering natural conversation. Read on for more information. More →
Several new features set to be introduced in Microsoft’s upcoming “Mango” update for Windows Phone were revealed this past weekend. We already knew that Mango is set to be a major update to the Windows Phone platform — perhaps the most anticipated new feature is improved multitasking support — but Microsoft had been keeping several upcoming additions under wraps. Newly revealed features include Bing Audio, which will identify songs by listening to music, a la Shazam; Bing Vision, which will provide barcode scanning along with a host of camera-assisted search functions; the addition of turn-by-turn navigation to Bing Maps; speech recognition support in the messaging app; and a new native podcast player. None of these new features have been confirmed by Microsoft at this point but considering the proven track record of the source, it looks like Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.5 update is going to be even more exciting than we thought. More →
Maybe it’s the cool-factor, maybe it’s the novelty, maybe it’s the crazy little “SpinVox Mobsters” pictured above or maybe it’s the sheer convenience; whatever the case may be, SpinVox is growing by leaps and bounds. Just last month the company announced the completion of a new funding round in excess of $100 million, bringing SpinVox’s current valuation to over $500 million. What’s all the fuss about? Until you take a few minutes to sample the SpinVox service for yourself, you simply just won’t get it. The backbone of SpinVox’s portfolio is speech-to-text but hey, that’s nothing new. The efficiency, accuracy and implementation are among factors that separate SpinVox from the pack. Ok ok, so what do they do?