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Nuance buys SVOX ahead of iOS 5 release

There's a whole trail of rumors hinting at an upcoming deal between speech recognition company Nuance and Apple. For quite a while now (ever since Apple picked up personal assistant software maker Siri), the scuttlebuzz has claimed that the folks in Cupertino would make a deal with Nuance for some kind of speech recognition, most likely an iOS-level integration that would allow you to ask your iOS device for whatever you want, and get it quickly and easily.

But even if that deal is on, that hasn't stopped Nuance from slowing down. The company has acquired another speech recognition firm, SVOX, the creators of high-end speech recognition and text-to-speech services. That's a natural fit for Nuance, of course, and the release says that the new deal "will advance the proliferation of voice in the automotive market, and accelerate the development of new voice capabilities that enable natural, conversational interactions between consumers and their connected cars, mobile phones, and other consumer devices."

Sounds exciting to us. We didn't actually get to see either Siri or an updated voice control service show up during the iOS 5 announcement at WWDC, but that doesn't mean it's completely out of the cards yet. Maybe a deal like this is just what Nuance needs to set up the partnership that Apple's reportedly been seeking for a while.

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