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Nuance buys MobileVoiceControl for speech-enabled mobile search

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BURLINGTON, Mass.-Nuance Communications Inc. said it will acquire fellow speech-recognition software developer MobileVoiceControl.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Nuance, formerly known as ScanSoft, is a 14-year veteran on the speech-recognition playground and has deals with Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile USA Inc. and Virgin Mobile USA L.L.C., among others. MobileVoiceControl specializes in speech-enabled mobile search and messaging services, allowing users to dictate and send e-mails, dial contacts, create calendar entries and browse the wireless Web with their voice.
Voice-activated technology-which for years has been “the next big thing”-has gained attention in wireless in recent months as the industry looks to simplify ways for consumers to communicate, surf the mobile Internet and discover and purchase content. A handful of well-funded developers have gained substantial traction on the playground, while Google Inc. is threatening to join the space after winning a patent for speech-recognition technology for wireless Web surfing.
“Speech technology is rapidly expanding the possibilities for consumers in the mobile environment,” said Paul Ricci, Nuance’s chief executive officer.

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