Speech recognition company Vlingo has been acquired by Nuance, one of its primary rivals, thus proving that there’s life beyond Siri.

Vlingo, available for iOS and Android, is probably the best alternative to Siri that you can find (especially if you’re on an iPhone that doesn’t support Siri). While it lacks Siri’s system-level integration and accuracy, it’s a strong piece of software that even does some things Siri won’t (some integration with 3rd party apps and a learning system that invites more user input). Nuance, who makes Dragon Dictation (also very good but not as much of an “assistant” as Vlingo), picked up Vlingo as a way to create a somewhat more united front to compete in the voice assistant market. And, let’s be frank: That means competing with Apple’s Siri.

[quote]“Virtually every mobile and consumer electronics company on the planet is looking for ways to integrate natural, conversational voice interactions into their mobile products, applications and services,” said Mike Thompson, senior vice president and general manager for Nuance Mobile. “By acquiring Vlingo, we are able to accelerate the pace of innovation.”[/quote]

Vlingo’s price tag hasn’t been disclosed, but there have been some legal battles between them and Nuance in which patents were infringed upon, and part of the payment could be about letting those lawsuits drop.

Source: Boston Herald