It seems that Amazon is looking to dive into the text-to-speech industry full on, because the online retail giant just announced that it has acquired text-to-speech software company IVONA Software for an undisclosed amount of money. IVONA is the company behind the text-to-speech capabilities of Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet lineup.
Not only does IVONA deliver "world-class technologies" to the company's Kindle Fire tablets, but IVONA also delivers text-to-speech products and services to a ton of other companies around the world, and they offer voice and language portfolios in 44 different voices in 17 languages, with more currently in development.
Who knows what Amazon has planned, as they didn't reveal a roadmap of any kind, but Lukasz Osowski, CEO and co-founder of IVONA, said that they "are all thrilled that Amazon is supporting our growth so that we can continue to innovate and deliver exceptional voice and language support for our customers." So, it seems that IVONA will carry on as usual, but simply under new ownership.
However, the acquisition could mean that more text-to-speech capabilities could be coming to the Kindle Fire, and could possibly spread to other Kindle devices as well. Currently, IVONA powers the Kindle Fire's “Text-to-Speech,” “Voice Guide,” and “Explore by Touch” features on the tablet, and we may see even more similar features come to a Kindle device near you.