Samsung, amongst others, is one company looking to buy the team responsible for Siri’s speech technology.
Anyone who knows anything about smartphones has likely heard of Siri: the virtual voice assistant baked into Apple‘s mobile operating system, iOS. Samsung’s equivalent, S Voice is a far less used and talked about rival, so how does the Korean mobile giant plan to set about changing the odds in its favour? By buying up the company responsible for Siri’s speech savvy technology, Nuance Communications.
In truth Samsung already turns to Nuance for voice capabilities in its mobile devices and TVs, but now it looks as though the company’s is considering making Nuance part of the family, which could cut Apple and other companies off from future partnerships.
Most recently, Nuance Communications was valued in the region of $5.5bn. It’s currently looking for potential buyers with a number of private equity firms showing interest alongside Samsung, but should Samsung offer the winning bid, its focus on voice control in future products could dramatically change.
Nuance’s biggest business is in fact in healthcare, where it has created software used to digitize patient’s records. Whilst this doesn’t match up directly with Samsung’s consumer products, devices like the Galaxy S5 smartphone and Gear Fit smartwatch have also show an increased interest in pushing into the health market, with tools for tracking fitness and even reading heart rate. Perhaps with Nuance on board, future Samsung electronics could offer a virtual fitness coach that adapts to your activity, training style or daily routine.
We’re unsure as to when a purchase could take place, but it’ll be interesting to see who picks up Nuance, is anyone, and how it will affect the companies and brands currently using their technologies.
What do you think about virtual voice assistants, useful or useless? Leave your thoughts in the comments down below.