Nuance Grabs Up Vlingo, Voice Recognition Powers Get Combined

Now we're talking. Two of the world's biggest names in voice recognition have managed to recognize that a merger needed to happen, or, at least that's what ended up happening after they chat-chatted for some time. Nuance Communications, Inc. announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Vlingo, Inc. Fueled by unprecedented demand for intelligent voice interfaces that combine voice, language understanding and semantic processing, Nuance and Vlingo will combine their deep innovation and R&D expertise to deliver next-generation natural language interfaces across numerous markets and industries.

Consumer interest and demand for virtual assistant and voice-enabled capabilities have exploded in recent months, creating a $5 billion market opportunity that spans phones, tablets, cars, televisions, navigation devices, music players, PCs and more. Both Nuance and Vlingo see an unprecedented appetite for intelligent devices that understand the spoken word and deliver outcomes for consumers and professionals.

"Inspired by the introduction of services such as Apple's Siri and our own Dragon Go!, virtually every mobile and consumer electronics company on the planet is looking for ways to integrate natural, conversational voice interactions into their mobile products, applications, and services, " said Mike Thompson, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Nuance Mobile. "By acquiring Vlingo, we are able to accelerate the pace of innovation to meet this demand."

"Vlingo and Nuance have long shared a similar vision for the power and global proliferation of mobile voice and language understanding. As a result of our complementary research and development efforts, our companies are stronger together than alone. Our combined resources afford us the opportunity to better compete, and offer a powerful proposition to customers, partners and developers," said Dave Grannan, CEO, Vlingo.

By harnessing the combined expertise in voice, language and multilingual capabilities, Nuance will be able to take advantage of the adoption of intelligent mobile assistants, where consumers, businesses, doctors and patients can engage in more human, natural interactions with devices and systems all over the world.

As we've seen with SYNC in-car infotainment systems and Siri (just to name a handful), there's serious demand for serious voice recognition systems. Unfortunately, most of them are lackluster. With this combination, though, we may be headed for something good -- here's hoping, right?
Tags:  Nuance, voice, vlingo