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Amazon takes on Apple's Siri with 'voice control rival' Yap

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Amazon could be preparing to integrate its own version of Apple's voice control system Siri into the Kindle product range after the firm purchased a speech recognition company.

The online retail giant is understood to have acquired voice-to-text startup Yap, according to documents filed in the US.

Yap's technology is able to transcribe voicemails and was in private beta until users were informed last month that the trial was being discontinued.

Amazon Kindle Fire
iPhone 4S

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CLT Blog, a local news provider in Yap's hometown of Charlotte, decided to investigate and found a merger filing with the SEC (US Securities and Exchange commission) that listed a building in Seattle owned by Amazon.

The Yap Voicemail app was considered only the tip of the technology's potential, as voice control systems are considered a key growth area in the mobile and tablet space.

Apple acquired technology startup Siri and incorporated its voice-control technology into its iPhone 4S, enabling users to perform a range of tasks with voice commands.

> Apple downplays Sir for older iPhones rumour

Tech Crunch reports that Yap received $6.5 million of funding in a Series A round in 2008, although it is difficult to estimate the exact value of the company.

Amazon has not commented on the report, but speculation is that the Yap technology would be used on its new Kindle Fire tablet computer and Kindle e-readers.

Possible uses could include a virtual, voice-controlled shopping assistant, or an advanced search system through Amazon's large collection of music, video and other content.

Meanwhile, Amazon has reportedly stepped up its production of the Kindle Fire following better-than-expected pre-orders for the new device.

The company is thought to have increased its projected sales from 4m to 5m units, in preparation for major demand for the cut-price iPad rival.

> Kindle Fire praised, but analysts say it's no iPad killer

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