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The tablet wars are shifting to to a new battleground, as an SEC filing today revealed that Amazon.com has purchased speech recognition app maker Yap.
The Atlantic is reporting that the acquisition was completed in September, but Amazon made no formal announcement. The Charlotte, NC-based company founded by the Jablokov brothers had received a $6.5 million Series A round from SunBridge Partners.
Yap’s consumer-facing technology converted voicemails into text, but as Alexis Madgrigal writes, the wellspring of intellectual property runs much deeper. The voice recognition technology treads on Siri territory, the wildly popular voice recognition app which was recently released on the iPhone 4S.
Amazon does not have a phone, but it does have the Kindle Fire tablet, which should be in consumers’ hands in time for the holiday shopping season. While Apple has said that the iPhone 4S will be the only device to support the Siri voice recognition technology, this could change in the future, possibly extending the technology to iPads and even Macs.
Amazon officials have already boasted that the Kindle Fire will do for the video industry what the iPod did for the music industry. Amazon Prime subscribers may soon have the ability to do voice searches of the company’s vast catalog of streaming video content, as well as books, and one of the world’s largest inventories of physical goods.
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