Friday 7 October 2011

Swype sold to Nuance for $100 million.

Nuance, a name best known for their voice recognition software, like Dragon Naturally Speaking and OmniPage OCR software have been rumoured to have bought Swype, the recent popular text input tool that works by sliding one's finger between characters. Now, Nuance themselves have a similar product called FlexT9 for Android devices. They also have a host of other text prediction software, namely T9, which is used on phones the world across. Swype, which has gained popularity and is available for free as a beta on Android devices has been providing competition to Nuance. By buying Swype, Nuance has eliminated any competition. Nuance’s FlexT9 for Android also supports voice recognition and the traditional character recognition.

Swype was started back in 2002 and some $14 million was raised through a number of a venture capitalist firms that included Samsung Ventures and Nokia Growth Partners. Swype was started by Cliff Kushler and Randy Marsden. Cliff Kushler is also known to be one of the inventors of the popular T9 text prediction software. Randy Marsden was the brain behind the Windows on-screen keyboard that’s bundled with pretty much every Windows installation available in the market today. With Swype belonging to Nuance, users will have to wait and see how things change. A commercial product might be released or the product could be ported to other platforms as well.

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