Google has acquired speech synthesis startup Phonetic Arts in an attempt to boost the voice functionality of its mobile apps.
According to eWeek, Phonetic Arts makes software that samples human voices and alters them to be used in voice command-based applications.
Google plans to move the Phonetic team to its London office and also intends to use its expertise to improve the voice features found in its mobile based applications. These include services like Voice Search, which allows users to conduct searches by voice commands; Voice Inputs, which lets users compose mail using voice commands and Voice Actions, that allows users look up businesses by speaking into a phone.
Google's Mike Cohen wrote in a blog post: “Phonetic Arts’ team of researchers and engineers work at the cutting edge of speech synthesis, delivering technology that generates natural computer speech from small samples of recorded voice”.
The company has refused to divulge exactly what it planned to do with its new acquisition, however.