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Is Amazon looking to take on Siri with takeover of Yap?

November 9, 2011 |  5:29 pm

Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, holding the Kindle Fire tablet is trying to take a bite out of Apple's iPad sales by undercutting the iPad on price. But it might soon be looking to take on Apple in voice recognition technology.

The Seattle online retail giant and maker of the upcoming $200 Kindle Fire tablet, according to some public records digging done by the CLT Blog and The Atlantic, may have purchased a Charlotte-based voice recognition company called Yap Inc..

Officials at Amazon were unavailable for comment on Wednesday about its reported purchase of Yap, but according to an SEC filing first found by the CLT Blog, Yap was purchased by a company called Dion Acquisition Sub Inc. After the purchase was complete, the company took the name of Yap Inc. again.

So how does Amazon fit into all this? According to the CLT Blog and The Atlantic, the Seattle address listed for the new Yap Inc. belongs to Amazon.

Yap produced a now discontinued voicemail app for Apple's iPhone and phones running Google's Android operating system that would transcribe voice messages into text, much like Google Voice does for its users.

Does this mean a Siri-like feature could be headed to the future generations of Kindle Fire tablets? Or maybe even entirely new Amazon products such as gadgets that could work with TVs or even a smartphone?

At this point, it's all speculation, but Amazon is making waves with the Kindle Fire, and it surely isn't going to want to get left behind if Apple's Siri technology ends up on the iPad or even an Apple TV -- two gateways for consumers to buy music, movies, books and apps from Apple's online storefronts. After all, Amazon is first and foremost a retailer.


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Photo: Amazon CEO and Founder Jeff Bezos holds the new Amazon Kindle Fire tablet on Sept. 28, 2011 in New York City. Credit: Spencer Platt / Getty Images