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Amazon silent speech-text buy speaks volumes

Here's more fodder if you buy into the latest Internet meme where Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple wind up in an escalating war of everyone against everyone: Amazon not long ago bought a startup that makes a voice-to-text technology that looks suspiciously similar to Apple's Siri.

The acquisition was a low key affair. In fact, Amazon's name isn't even mentioned in the filing reporting the purchase of the company called Yap. But as the Charlotte-based blog CLT noted, Yap merged with a company called "Dion Acquisition Sub" that has its headquarters at 410 Terry Avenue in Seattle, Washington, which, coincidence of coincidences, is an Amazon.com building.

The technology would, in theory, give Amazon new options for adding voice commands in current or future wireless products. Note, however, that Android, which powers the Kindle Fire, already offers voice control. What's more, the current Kindle Fire doesn't have a microphone, although that doesn't mean a future version won't. At the same time, Amazon could be looking down the road at getting into the smartphone business. It also might be considering how to port the technology over to the Web rather than expand into mobile.

And speaking of coincidence, the last name of the two brothers who started Yap, Igor and Victor Jablokov, means "apples" in Russian. (Hat tip to Paid Content.

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