Samsung hands over Innoetics to accelerate the development of its connected speaker

by bold-lichterman

  • Innoetics has developed a text-to-speech and voice-to-speech technology (text to voice and vice versa).
  • Innoetics’ contribution should allow Samsung to improve its virtual assistant Bixby, whose operation is based on artificial intelligence.
  • Samsung is working on a connected speaker, which responds to the code name “Vega”.

Samsung wants to step up in voice assistance. In this sense, the South Korean firm has concluded the takeover of the Greek start-up Innoetics, specializing in voice recognition. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed but sources tell TechCrunch that this acquisition was made for an amount less than $ 50 million. Samsung plans to keep the ten or so employees of the Athens-based company.

Founded in 2006 by Aimilios Chalamandaris, Pirros Tsiakoulis, Sotiris Karabetsos and Spyros Raptis, Innoetics has developed a technology text-to-speech and voice-to-speech (text to voice and vice versa). The latter is in particular able to listen to a person speaking, to record the vocal flow of this person, and from the tone and timbre of the voice, to read a given text. Innoetics supports 15 different languages ​​including Greek, English, French, German, Spanish and several Indian dialects.

Innoetics’ contribution should allow Samsung to improve its virtual assistant Bixby, whose operation is based on artificial intelligence. And for good reason, the South Korean firm is encountering difficulties in offering Bixby internationally on all Galaxy S8 smartphones. Samsung’s assistant struggles to learn languages.

Samsung positions itself against Amazon, Google and Apple

Bixby’s original language being Korean, he must learn English and Chinese in particular for his integration to be possible outside the borders of South Korea. Innoetics could help Samsung overcome these difficulties as the quality of the text-to-speech from the Greek company is close to a real human voice. Last year, the South Korean giant had already strengthened its voice in voice assistance by buying the start-up Viv Labs, created by the founders of Siri. They designed Viv, a personal voice assistant capable of responding to more complex requests through artificial intelligence.

Beyond catching up on Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, Samsung hopes above all to rely on Innoetics to design a smart speaker capable of competing with Amazon Echo, Google Home or the Apple brand HomePod. . For now, the future connected speaker of the South Korean group responds to the code name “Vega”.

Read also: With Viv, Samsung wants a smarter assistant than Siri