Nuance Communications stock prices are rising as speculations of a potential sale of the company to Samsung Electronics are heating up. Nuance provides speech and voice recognition software for many products in the market, including cars and GPS, Samsung's own line of Galaxy phones and tablets, as well as Apple's voice assistant Siri.

Nuance is said to be in talks with Samsung and other private equity investors in a sale, though it's unclear where the talks are and if a deal will even happen.

Despite being a leading provider of voice recognition technology, Nuance's biggst business is in healthcare where its software helps digitize patient information. An acquisition by Samsung may mark an increased focus on healthcare for the South Korean company after recent announcements in wearables and a partnership with the University of California, San Francisco.

Nuance also owns the popular Swype gesture keyboard that is preloaded on some Samsung phones.

Currently, Nuance's market cap is around $5.5 billion and the company counts Carl Icahn as its largest shareholder. If Samsung does acquire Nuance, it's unclear what implications the deal would have on Apple and other licensees of Nuance's speech software. Currently, other Android manufacturers who rely on Google Search for voice should be safe as Google Now does not use Nuance's technology.

We'll have to wait and see how this one all plays out but what do you all think about it? Given how much stuff Nuance actually powers, it makes us wonder what products may need to align their resources if the deal does indeed go through.

Source: WSJ

 
There are 27 comments

Kylecore says:

I can see the news reports after the purchase goes through "Apple health incorporates with one hospital in California, Samsung now offers health tracking world wide. Your move iOS"

jOn_Garrett says:

lol, that would be awesome. I how Samsung buys them!!

Linebarrel86 says:

Damn! Apple better get to building their own speech recongiztion software if this happens.

Hopefully their efforts will be better than their Mapping service.

savdini says:

Haha, true. They're using Nuance servers for siri

Nexus 4 - CM10.1.3

Howard Sylve says:

I hope Sammy puts their tech to good use if the sale goes through. S-voice wasn't the greatest experience for me.

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Impulses says:

Not sure if this is good or bad for the future of Swype... I recently switched to Swiftkey because my install of Swype (even after a re-install on a stock Nexus 5) kept getting bogged down and lagging hard for very long pauses, but I'm having trouble getting used to Swiftkey's Flow.

Swyiping without Swype's bevvy of custom gestures (for capitalization, etc, all those shortcuts they teach you in the tutorial) is just a pain and almost makes me revert back to tapping. Always loved Swiftkey on my tablet, where I don't use Flow, but Flow just seems inferior to Swype right now. Unfortunately Swype's gotten too buggy and sluggish...

erstam says:

I have the same problem. Swype is just a better keyboard for swiping all around.

sorbe88 says:

Don't sign in to the Swype connect feature, fixes all the lag issues!

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+1
The "living language" feature slows everything down to a virtual standstill if your network connection is poor, and some other times just because it feels like it should happen. It's always been like that and it's so annoying and predictable that I'm surprised they haven't fixed it yet.

Impulses says:

Interesting, I'll have to try that, thanks. I guess it then loses all your learned words after re installs etc tho? Might be an okay compromise...

I really can't get used to SwiftKey's Flow, the way it gives up on predictions (just vibrates and writes nothing) and handles auto corrections (you get just three unlike Swype's scrolling auto correct pane with half a dozen suggestions) really bog down your speed when swiping too.

Love SK on my tablet, the re sizable options and number row are gravy, but Swype's core logic for actual swiping is just much much better... Either that or my brain is just too accustomed to it after three years, I find even their copy/paste & directional arrow keyboard pane more useful on a small screen tho.

You'll only lose the weekly buzzwords and words from FB and Twitter. So, you'll have to manually type WorldCup2014 and Kanyashian.... I still have backup enabled, and it's not freezing for me, but I guess it potentially could, as it's also using the network from time to time.

Impulses says:

Thanks again, I hadn't looked at the Swype options in a while so I wasn't familiar with it. Went in and disabled the Living Language option as well as the one to allow updates and sync over mobile data (think they label it Cellular Data), I'm assuming it'll still do it's thing over Wi-Fi (but if the issue is a slow connection then that's way more likely on 3G).

Seems to have done the trick so far! I still notice a stutter here and there (probably cause I'm looking for it) but not nearly as bad before. Ironically I'm now thrown a little by the key size and whatnot (was just starting to get used to SK), but having the familiar gestures makes a world of difference. I really wish they'd work on these weird bugs...

I'd done one or two cursory searches on the issue but hadn't found any solutions, just short threads full of frustrated responses and whatnot (even on Xda)... My Google Fu is probably just weak these days, haven't been into the whole scene as much since I picked up photography.

Kvoth says:

I completely agree with your assessment of Swype vs swift key, but Swype is and always has worked fine for me. No lag issues on my nexus 4.

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I think it's a network quality issue, so I guess you're just blessed with not living constantly on one or two bars... :)

hmmm says:

So, Swype no longer open to other phones. Hope this doesn't go through.

Linebarrel86 says:

Samsung isn't Apple. They wouldn't restrict the use of Swype.

n0obpr0 says:

They could restrict it to samsung's device only since they love doing that...

mfpmax says:

They would gimp Swype on other phones. Swype on any phone that currently has S-Type is gimped now compared to regular Swype you get from the market.

aitt says:

No more Nuance for Toq...

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I love Google's solution with Google Now but I really wish it had the ability to change system settings like sound, brightness, wifi, bluetooth, gps, etc. A hands free option like the Moto X would be great. If Samsung could pull something off like that with an aquisition that would be great.

K White1 says:

Interesting news, especially after all of the Cortana for iOS and Android drama.

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Techjourney says:

Very interesting story. I didn't realize how many products Nuance had an a affiliation.

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MBSMD says:

Not a fan of this. Nuance makes a significant amount of medical voice-control/dictation software that I'd prefer not be under Samsung control. PowerScribe and Dragon Medical to name just two.

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al9boo says:

Please. ..... go through with s voice needs help

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S Voice has used the Nuance engine since the original Galaxy S.

radofone says:

Well well if that is to be maybe Samsung will have a better S voice...Moto X is the king of voice

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MasterElwood says:

the recognition of S-Voice is good. Practically on par with google.

The SPEED is its problem. Its slow as hell.