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August 15, 2011

Nuance Reveals Plans to Acquire Speech Recognition and Text to Speech Provider Loquendo

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

Nuance Communications has just revealed an agreement to purchase Loquendo, a subsidiary of Telecom Italia (News - Alert) and a provider of speech recognition and text to speech technology. The merger of both companies’ innovative voice-enabled solutions will help dramatically increase the time to market for new functionalities that power natural, conversational interactions between consumers and the contact center, automobiles, mobile phones, and other consumer devices all over Europe and Latin America.

“The penetration of Loquendo’s offerings and the company’s positive industry recognition will serve as a catalyst in expanding our market reach and our voice and language portfolio,” said Steve Chambers, chief marketing officer and head of the enterprise division, Nuance (News - Alert) Communications, in a statement. “Together, we will provide a range of best-in-class solutions, delivering natural, conversational interactions across a number of growing markets that will initially include enterprise, mobile and automotive – with a significant opportunity to accelerate our efforts in Europe and Latin America.”

Currently, Loquendo enables speech technologies for telephony, mobile, automotive, embedded and desktop solutions in over 32 languages that can be spoken in a variety of 76 voices. Loquendo’s text-to-speech (TTS), automatic speech recognition (ASR) and voice biometrics solutions help people easily speak to one another through technology in a way that feels very natural and gives them the ability to use their voice, thus creating a great customer experience and remaining cost-effective as it saves businesses millions of dollars each year, a press release revealed. Loquendo speech solutions are utilized in around 20 million devices worldwide in multiple environments including embedded, automotive and mobile. 

According to the release, the newly combined organization will have the ability to fully support technology that offers a wide range of voice and language solutions such as TTS, ASR and voice biometrics solutions. Also, the acquisition will greatly expand language coverage for all customers, strengthening Nuance’s partnerships all around the world and increasing the transitional push to speech-enabled solutions.

Expected to close in late September 2011, the merger will enable Nuance to expand its operations in four crucial areas. First, highly advanced voice solutions for new and growing markets will be revealed through Nuance and Loquendo’s combined technologies that will elevate voice capabilities available through TTS, ASR and voice biometrics offerings; strong global customer and partner relationships will be leveraged as the acquisition offers both company’s customers and partners access to a robust voice and language portfolio; increased language support and innovation as together Nuance and Loquendo can increase language capabilities through a brand new center for speech research, based in Turin, Italy, the release stated.

“The adoption of speech technology is being driven by the increasing comfort in the use of speech by consumers, resulting in the demand for fully voice-enabled experiences across many industry segments,” said Davide Franco (News - Alert), chief executive officer and chairman of the board, Loquendo. “By combining our technology and amazing employees with Nuance’s robust capabilities and market strength, we look forward to continued success with our partners and customers.”

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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