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ARM Innovation Hub
17 April, 2013 - 16:40 By Tony Quested

Amazon smartphone to be built on Cambridge technology

William-Tunstall-Pedoe

Electronic commerce giant Amazon could be set to launch a smartphone in competition to Apple utilising Cambridge UK technology Evi – a flagship personal assistant app.

TechCrunchis reporting that Amazon paid $26 million for Evi – formerly True Knowledge - late last year in a deal that none of the parties concerned have been prepared to confirm.

And the International Business Times speculates that Amazon's expansion of its Appstore to almost 200 countries could indicate a Kindle smartphone is in the offing.

The secret deal represents a remarkable rise to global fame for Evi – an iOS and Android app and runs on any Android or iPhone. The app synergises Nuance’s voice recognition technology with True Knowledge’s search engine.

It uses natural language text to ‘understand’ what the user means, as well as their intent. Business Weekly reported Evi’s move to Silicon Valley last summer to exploit US demand.

The company also told us last June that it had introduced new features, passed its millionth installation and appointed a new CEO – Silicon Valley ‘veteran’ Barak Berkowitz, formerly with Apple and Disney. With these parallel moves, Evi positioned itself for a strong spurt of international growth. Evi founder William Tunstall-Pedoe became chief product officer.

Founded in 2007, Evi is venture funded, with the main investor London-based Octopus Ventures.

Evi uses artificial intelligence to allow users to ask for information and get a spoken reply. You can use talk or type to get information out of the Evi app from UK innovator True Knowledge.

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