Menu
Report: Nuance may be in sales talks with Samsung and others

Report: Nuance may be in sales talks with Samsung and others

The company with advanced digital assistant and speech recognition technology has reportedly been looking for a buyer.

Nuance Communications has reportedly held talks regarding a sale of the company with an unknown number of prospective buyers, according to a report.

The Wall Street Journalreported on Monday that Nuance had held discussions with Samsung as well as a number of private-equity firms, the paper said. The paper said that it hadn't nailed down whether those talks were serious, or would lead to a deal.

Nuance, a combination of a number of different companies, was originally a spinoff of SRI in 1994. One of the early scanner companies, Visioneer, acquired ScanSoft in 1999 and then merged with Nuance in 2005, taking the Nuance name. Today, Nuance is mainly known for its Dragon voice recognition software and its early work in developing intelligent assistant software. At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, for example, several top PC makers including Dell said that they would include the Dragon Assistant in upcoming PCs.

Nuance, however, is seen as one of the companies that can challenge Apple's Siri (itself an SRI spinoff), Microsoft's Cortana, and Google's Google Now technology in the emerging market for digital assistants. As more and more consumers begin buying into mobile, desktop and even automotive ecosystems, developers like Google have tried to build the data these devices collect into a cohesive whole.

Nuance has so far played the role of outsider, building relationships with companies like Amazon, Ford and Subaru to take their technology where the others have not. Nuance has even experimented with trying to forge emotional relationships with its users, in the style of the Spike Jonze movie, Her.

As the Journal noted, however, activist investor Carl Icahn is the company's largest stakeholder, at 19 percent. That's the most potent evidence in favor of an argument that Nuance is shopping itself.

Who might buy Nuance? A number of possibilities present themselves. Samsung, for example, is trying to build itself into the dominant player in the Android ecosystem. Amazon is, as well, with rumors that a smartphone is around the corner. And if Google's vision of a self-driving car comes to pass, an intelligent agent to manage things would be a virtual necessity.

Nuance continues to lose money, making a sale more likely. But the company's technology may make it a prize for the taking.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags NuanceapplicationsNuance CommunicationsMicrosoftSamsung ElectronicssoftwarespeechApp InvasionDellAppleGoogle

Slideshows

Meet the leading HP partners in New Zealand...

Meet the leading HP partners in New Zealand...

HP has recognised its top performing partners in New Zealand at the second annual 2016 HP Partner Awards, held at a glittering bash in Auckland. The HP Partner Awards recognises and celebrates excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of its top partners. This year also saw the addition of several new categories, resulting in 11 companies winning across 11 award categories.

Meet the leading HP partners in New Zealand...
Channel comes together as Ingram Micro Showcase hits Auckland

Channel comes together as Ingram Micro Showcase hits Auckland

Ingram Micro outlined its core focuses for 2017 at Showcase in Auckland, bringing together the channel for a day of engaging keynotes, compelling breakout sessions and new technologies.

Channel comes together as Ingram Micro Showcase hits Auckland
Show Comments