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 and, I’ve learned, it was all cash (split between $77.5 million up front and another $25 million in 18 months—call that a retention bonus for the Swype team).
So what does Nuance, which is known primarily for its speech recognition software engine, want with a gesture-based text entry technology like Swype? (Instead of tapping in letters on a touch keyboard, you swipe between them without lifting your finger). Earlier today, I spoke with 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.”..Read more on TechCrunch