Amazon says it has acquired IVONA software, a company based in Poland that provides the technology for Amazon Kindle features including “text to speech,” in which a computerized voice automatically reads the words of a book aloud.
The purchase price wasn’t disclosed. IVONA is based in Gdynia, Poland. The deal is sparking speculation that Amazon may be buying IVONA in part to better incorporate its technology into a new smartphone lineup that it’s rumored to be developing.
Kindle VP Dave Limp says in a news release, “IVONA’s exceptional text-to-speech technology leads the industry in natural voice quality, accuracy and ease of use. IVONA is already instrumental in helping us deliver excellent accessibility features on Kindle Fire, including Text-to-Speech, Voice Guide and Explore by Touch. The IVONA team shares our passion for innovation and customer obsession, and we look forward to building great products to deliver world-class voice solutions to customers around the world.”