Feeds

Amazon quietly acquires voice capability

Everyone else is doing it!

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

A company specialising in voice-recognition technology has apparently been snapped up by Amazon, and is now operating under an assumed name, for reasons which remain obscure.

The company which has been acquired is called Yap, and offers voice-to-text services. Recently it shut down its public offering and merged with a company called "Dion Acquisition Sub Inc", resulting in both companies moving to 410 Terry Avenue, North Seattle: an address which Amazon also calls home.

The transaction was picked up by CLT Blog, a local blog which took an interest because Yap is based in Charlotte, North Carolina. CLT Blog is hosting a copy of the merger papers (PDF), which clearly show that the combined corporation (which will be called Yap Inc) is based at Amazon's offices.

We've contacted Amazon to ask if it is letting out rooms these days, but the retailer had not responded as we go to print.

Yap has been hawking its fully-automated voice-to-text service for the last few years, hoping to sell it to mobile network operators as a value-added service. UK voicemail provider Hullomail remembers negotiating with them to transcribe messages (which are currently pushed to email as audio files) but Yap wanted more money than Hullomail was willing to pay.

Most of Yap's customers are network operators, but it turns out that transcribing voice mail is something of a niche application: "A voice mail message is more than just words," as Hullomail's CEO puts it. Yap did launch a consumer offering, as an iOS application, but then shut that down on 20 October.

That was just over a month after the merger details were filed. This happened on 8 September 2011, but didn't ring any bells until the chaps at CLT Blog noticed the matching address.

Amazon obviously has little interest in transcribing voicemail, and the kind of fully automated voice recognition espoused by Yap isn't really good enough for that anyway – when simple mistakes can change the meaning so significantly. But voice-driven product searches make a lot of sense, so that's probably where Yap's technology will end up, assuming the company isn't just renting Amazon's spare room of course. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.