Samsung has acquired Innoetics, a Greek firm specializing in technology that converts text to synthetic speech.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Gadgets 360 reports that the tech giant paid $43 million for its 100 percent stake in the Greek firm.
Samsung has not offered specific information about the motivation for the acquisition, but many observers expect Innoetics’ technology to be used to improve the functionality of Bixby, Samsung’s new AI assistant. Bixby is currently only available in South Korea, but Samsung has indicated that it plans to make the platform a key focus going forward, particularly as an interface for smart home and IoT interaction. Voice and speech are playing an increasingly central role as user interfaces in these areas and smartphones, with Apple and Amazon having pioneered much of the way with their Siri and Alexa platforms.
Innoetics’ technology can also reportedly mimic an individual’s voice after some training on samples, suggesting some fun applications for Bixby users in the future.