Amazon is making a play for the voice-controlled devices market. The e-commerce giant on Wednesday was rumored to have completed the acquisition of voice-assistant app developer Evi Technologies.
The deal is believed to have cost in the vicinity of $26 million. Amazon likely purchased Evi Technologies because of its strong presence for both Android and iOS devices. The company has built a platform that functions much like Apple’s own Siri technology.
Evi launched just one year ago on the Apple App Store. Shortly after launch developer True Knowledge said Apple was thinking of pulling the plug on the app because it was too close in scope to its own Siri tech.
Apple never pulled the free to download app after True Knowledge CEO William Tunstall-Pedoe publicly criticized Apple for potentially stifling competition in the voice-assisted space.
Like its closest competitor the Evi Technologies app allows users to vocalize questions and then listen back for answers. While the program lacks Siri’s integration with core iOS utilities it has still be given positive reviews by users who appreciate its ease of use.
Amazon has been making a hardline play for technologies that make for better non-traditional communication standards. In January the online retailer purchased Ivona, a company that focuses on text-to-speech technology. The acquisition of Ivona led some analysts to predict that Amazon was on its way to creating its first Google Android based smartphone.
While Amazon and Evi Technologies have yet to officially announce the acquisition, an annual report by Evi backer Octopus Ventures confirmed that the UK company’s directors have been replaced with legal counsel from Amazon UK.
If an Amazon smartphone is actually in the works this new acquisition could be Amazon’s ticket towards immediate mass appeal.
In the meantime rumors suggest that the Apple iPhone 5S will put more emphasis on a new version of Apple Siri technology than ever before.
[Image via gizmag]