Friday night news broke that Nuance acquired Swype—the company behind the popular Swype keyboard—for nearly $100 million. Speculation surrounding the reasoning and details of the move ran rampant. In an interview with TechCrunch Swype CEO Mike McSherry revealed some details.
The deal between Nuance—the company behind Apple’s latest voice recognition tech—and Swype cost Nuance $102.5 million split up into a $77.5 million payment up front and another $25 million after 18 months. But, the financials aren’t the real meat of the deal.
The broadest vision is we want to be the input for every single stream. You talk to your refrigerator and in-car navigation, you want your language models to follow you around. — McSherry
The end game now for the newly partnered companies is a cloud-based input technology that shares a back-end providing users with a seamless experience across tactile or voice information entry on their phones. According to McSherry this means user’s will each have a personalized experience using their phones as Nuance and Swypes technologies learn the user’s behavior. For instance lets say a friend of yours has an oddly spelled name. If you are constantly correcting Swype’s predictive entries, that will carry over into Nuance’s voice-recognition input when speaking your friend's name. Nuance will know to use the odd spelling of your friend’s name during dictation if the context is right.
The big question though with Nuance’s latest acquisition is, will user’s see Swype on the iPhone anytime soon?
“I’d love to be able to see that. There are certainly lots of requests to see Swype on the iPhone.”
Well, officially on the iPhone anyway.