July 26, 2014

Siri-like voice app (and creator) reportedly purchased by Amazon for $26M

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Watch out Siri, Evi may be taking over!

Amazon has reportedly bought a voice recognition app called Evi, as well as the company that created it, for $26 million according to TechCrunch sources. Evi, the Siri-like app that runs on both Android and iPhone, looks to possibly join Amazon’s portfolio with another voice recognition company that was purchased back in January called Ivona. If you look at these purchases, it would make you wonder if Amazon is looking to develop an new device. A smartphone perhaps? Even if not, the Kindle platform would be perfect for such an app.

So what does the app really do? Evi uses natural language text to recognize what the user means, as well as their intent. It has an ontology of tens of thousands of classes and almost a billion so-called facts (machine understandable bits of knowledge) and, according to its creators at the former True Knowledge, can infer trillions more when needed. It can also look to Yelp for local searches, external mobile friendly websites, APIs, traditional search, etc.

When calls to Amazon PR, backers at Octopus Ventures, and the founders of Evi were made, a spokesperson for Octopus said: “On this occasion Octopus will decline to comment on this specific portfolio company.” Records show that all of the Evi Technologies Ltd. directors have been replaced by Amazon’s UK legal representatives, and all of Octopus Ventures’ funds refer to the disposing of their shares in Evi Technologies (all of this is confirmed by the Octopus Ventures annual report.)

In the beginning, Evi was quite controversial, being threatened to be pulled from the Apple App store for being too similar to Siri, then being allowed to stay. So what is next for Evi? Could Amazon have a new smartphone in the works, or maybe they are looking to implement on current devices? Let us know what you are thinking in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

Source: arstechnica