Last November, Steve Wozniak spoke out of turn and said that Apple was planning buying Nuance who specializes in voice recognition software. He later had to come out and say he was “totally wrong”. Now, it seems he may not have been completely off-base, as today speculation has surfaced that Apple is, in fact, looking at a deal with Nuance. Apple is reportedly very interested in improving its voice recognition capability in iOS 5, and Nuance would help them do that.
Apple has the cash to buy Nuance, which would likely cost them over 7 billion, but they may not want to purchase such a large company. Apple’s style has been more to buy smaller companies and integrate them into its larger structure. Nuance also makes a good deal of income on licensing deals, and that would end if Apple bought them. More likely is a partnership between the two companies.
Apple has some catching up to do in the voice recognition area, which Android has done much better with. Better voice recognition in the next version of iOS would be a big plus for Apple, and something it wants to aim for. Apple bought Siri last year, which is a company that focused on voice-activated search. Siri’s service are built on Nuance’s technology. Last year, Apple bought Suri, a company focused on voice-activated search. The start-up’s services are built on technology from Nuance.
What would you like to see voice recognition-wise in iOS?
[via New York Times]