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Nuance to acquire rival Vlingo


Nuance, the company behind the Dragon apps and a whole slew of other popular software suites, has decided to acquire its rival Vlingo, another voice-to-text software developer. VentureBeat says it's for an undisclosed sum, but even though the two companies have sued and counter-sued over a series of patent applications, they're apparently putting those quibbles to rest, and instead will combine forces to beef up their voice-to-text solutions.

Siri has apparently lit a fire under the voice control market lately, and of course voice recognition is a big part of that. Siri was very impressive as just an iPhone app, but with the full weight of Apple's hardware support (not to mention marketing budget) behind it, voice control is inspiring a lot of R&D and funding, both in Cupertino and elsewhere in the tech industry. Nuance has fought to be the de facto standard for a lot of voice recognition software in the past with its Dragon Naturally Speaking apps, and that kind of thing is likely to become even more popular going forward.

Or as Nuance's own senior VP Mike Thompson puts it in a press release, "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. By acquiring Vlingo, we are able to accelerate the pace of innovation to meet this demand."

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