Swype – Coming to iPhones?

Yes, Nuance is powering the new Siri Assistant in Apple’s upcoming iPhone 4S with its voice recognition technology. So does that mean that Swype could be coming to the iPHone as well? BTW, what is the relation among these two?

Last night, Michael broke the news that TechCrunch50 alum Swype was acquired for $100 million by speech technology company Nuance. The exact number was $102.5 million.

How does that make life different for you?

Nuance, which is known primarily for its speech recognition software engine and Swype is a gesture-based text entry technology? (Instead of tapping in letters on a touch keyboard, you swipe between them without lifting your finger).In words of Swype CEO Mike McSherry, who explained the thinking behind the deal. “The broadest vision,” says McSherry, “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.”

Nuance will “share language models on the backend” and personalize each experience to an individual’s frequency of use and language patterns. So if your mobile phone learns how you spell your friend Sergey’s name and later you use voice recognition to send Sergey a text message, it will have a better chance of knowing that you mean Sergey and not Sergei.

This sounds interesting, but how about this coming to iPhone?

“I’d love to be able to see that,” says McSherry, adding, “There are certainly lots of requests to see Swype on the iPhone.” Maybe Nuance can help with the negotiations. As of now, Swype is on 19 million phones overall, including 9 of the top 11 phone manufacturers. It is especially big on Android. Bringing it to the iPhone would be a very popular move all around.


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