In January 2012, Evi launched on iOS and Google Play. Powered by a sophisticated voice recognition engine and Nuance’s technology, it was coined a Siri alternative. According to TechCrunch, True Knowledge, a British start-up behind the application, has been acquired by Amazon for $26 million. Neither Amazon or True Knowledge have confirmed the acquisition, which is said to have happened late last year.
Annual reports from Octopus Ventures, investor in True Knowledge, reveal a possible acquisition. Shares in Evi Technologies have been disposed, and all directors replaced by none other than the legal representative of Amazon UK. Going further, Evi Technologies now has the same company secretary as Amazon.co.uk, Mitre Secretaries Limited.
This news comes just three months after Amazon acquired Ivona, a company specializing in text-to-speech software. Amazon could be using the technology towards improving its existing products, or (as some suggest) working on an Amazon/Kindle phone.
This is a good move for Amazon, and strengthens their ecosystem quite a bit. Amazon has quite a bit of knowledge built in to their store, and this could be a good tool for driving sales. Ask Evi who the Navy Fleet Admiral was in the pacific theater during World War 2, and you’ll probably get results for books to purchase on the campaign.
It was Chester Nimitz, by the way. Google Now told me so.