Amazon announced Thursday morning that it has acquired IVONA Software, makers of text-to-speech technologies that power the Text-to-Speech, Voice Guide and Explore By Touch features on Amazon's Kindle Fire devices. The software maker also provides text-to-speech products and services to thousands of other developers and businesses.
Amazon did not offer a lot in the way of details of the acquisition. Terms were not disclosed, but considering the competitive landscape, it makes sense for Amazon to own the technology behind these important features for its tablets (and if it starts making smartphones, it will be even more important).
Amazon Kindle VP Dave Limp says, “IVONA’s exceptional text-to-speech technology leads the industry in natural voice quality, accuracy and ease of use. IVONA is already instrumental in helping us deliver excellent accessibility features on Kindle Fire, including Text-to-Speech, Voice Guide and Explore by Touch. The IVONA team shares our passion for innovation and customer obsession, and we look forward to building great products to deliver world-class voice solutions to customers around the world.”
IVONA CEO and co-founder Lukasz Osowski adds, “For more than ten years, the IVONA team has been focused on creating innovative text-to-speech technologies. We 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.”
IVONA's voice and language technologies include 44 voices in 17 languages. According to the company, more are in development.