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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:06 PM   #1
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Amazon Acquires Siri-Challenger 'Evi' for $26 Million?




TechCrunch is reporting that Amazon has acquired Evi, a natural language search platform that is similar to Apple's Siri, for $26 million. The Evi app was originally posted on the App Store but Apple had threatened to remove because of similarities to Siri, but later said it would "work with" the company to reduce similarities. Evi remains available on the App Store.
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TechCrunch understands from sources that the company has been sold to Amazon for $26 million. However, calls to Amazon PR, backers Octopus Ventures and the founders of Evi have ben met with a stoney silence. A spokesperson for Octopus told us: "On this occasion Octopus will decline to comment on this specific portfolio company".
True Knowledge, the company behind Evi, licensed the same Nuance voice recognition technology that Apple uses in Siri and offers an array of information that seems to compare favorably to Siri's abilities. Evi first launched in early 2012.

Amazon has a number of possible uses for Evi, including building the service into its Kindle Fire tablet, or a possible Amazon phone.

Evi is a free download for the iPhone. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Amazon Acquires Siri-Challenger 'Evi' for $26 Million?
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:07 PM   #2
Klae17
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Hopefully that means Apple will step up their game with Siri. It is cumbersome and frustrating. Especially when you "call home" and it thinks for two minutes.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:09 PM   #3
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Glad Evi is getting some backing it was fairly good but lacked someone big to fund improvements. Altho wouldn't be at all surprised if this was a tech and staff purchase for Amazon's Android fork.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:09 PM   #4
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Most people I know including myself just use Siri for the first day or so.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JDee View Post
Most people I know including myself just use Siri for the first day or so.
I tried it out a few times turned it off after the first day tho.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:15 PM   #6
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That Siri license has to expire sometime. Hence the paultry $23m purchase price. This is a "bridge event" purchase by Amazon. Clearly all Apple competitors agree Siri was a coup.

I wonder if Nuance, which is independent of Apple has some contract with Apple after the failed acquisition effort which is both long term and binding?

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Originally Posted by JDee View Post
Most people I know including myself just use Siri for the first day or so.
Me too, but for a visually challenged friend, it changed her entire life. It is a matter of adjusting behavior to benefit from "eyes free' activity.

Siri is like your pet cat. It trains you.

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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by rmwebs View Post
Glad Evi is getting some backing it was fairly good but lacked someone big to fund improvements. Altho wouldn't be at all surprised if this was a tech and staff purchase for Amazon's Android fork.
I would be surprise if it isnt part of amazon android plataform in the future.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:18 PM   #8
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Remember all, Siri is still in "beta"!
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:19 PM   #9
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They will use Evi for their phone in the future? (If they bring one out to the market.)
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:21 PM   #10
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I feel like they should rename it; it needs a name that doesn't even resemble Siri. Why? Because it's always going to be looked at as a copy of Siri with such a similar name. Let's forget about the fact that siri was never a unique idea, but it's all about perspective. People are familiar with Siri. Now we have Evi (yes, I know it's been around for a while), and people who just hear the name and what it can do might think, "oh yeah, a Siri clone".
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:22 PM   #11
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Any competition to Siri would be GREAT!

Siri is a great tool and I use it often but it's dreadfully slow and very hit or miss. Not to mention just hangs. Wish some of these third party apps would be able to integrate with the phone a little better though. Seems most of these apps are only various versions of web searches. Would be nice to use them to set timers, events, send/read texts and such.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:23 PM   #12
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lol i forgot i had siri on my iphone and im not kidding
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:24 PM   #13
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Siri is terrible so this would be welcomed. although, I rarely use Siri except for appointments.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:25 PM   #14
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Cue new Apple commercial.

Apple : Hi I'm Siri.

Amazon : And I'm Evi.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:27 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by JDee View Post
Most people I know including myself just use Siri for the first day or so.
I use Siri daily, specifically when I'm driving, for dictating text messages, directions, entering calendar entries, setting location-based reminders, etc.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:30 PM   #16
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I like Google voice searching on my iPhone. She's faster, more accurate, and doesn't sound like she's been smoking cigarettes for 20 years.

I'd love for Apple to get serious about Siri or allow us to choose a voice search for our phone like we can choose a default browser/mail client on our Macs. Ditto for maps.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:33 PM   #17
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Siri is actually pretty useful but mostly if you play to its strengths. Hearing/sending text messages through my car bluetooth is very nice and much safer! And quick almanac lookups (like what day is April 27) is handy when you're in the middle of a few things.

What I don't like is when it can't read your contacts right. For example, I might want to send a message to Nikki but it says it can't find a Nicki in my contacts. I ask for Nikki again and it figures it out. I only have one Nikki in my contacts and it can figure it out on the second attempt. Shouldn't take two attempts.

I hope some more competition can get Apple to really polish up this feature. If they can make it smoother and more useful it would be a big boon and not a novelty or a limited-use feature.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:34 PM   #18
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I wonder if we are getting to a point where companies will soon out-Apple Apple. Most of Apple's newer features have been a dime short of awesome and competitors are coming to close that gap.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:36 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by nwcs View Post
What I don't like is when it can't read your contacts right. For example, I might want to send a message to Nikki but it says it can't find a Nicki in my contacts. I ask for Nikki again and it figures it out. I only have one Nikki in my contacts and it can figure it out on the second attempt. Shouldn't take two attempts.
You can improve this by entering phonetic data in Contacts on your iPhone. Edit a contact and choose Add Field... It can make Siri much more useful.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:40 PM   #20
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I use Siri daily, mostly to schedule reminders. It works great for that. Calendar entries are frustrating. If I mention a name, she wants to email that person to set up a meeting. It needs to get much better. Evi I used for a couple days before I had a Siri-enabled phone. It was terrible. And that one eyed emoticon thing creeped me out.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:42 PM   #21
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I didn't use Siri much when it first came out. Lately I've been using it a lot as it has improved voice recognition by far. I use it in my car via bluetooth; simply press the home button and I'm handsfree. It hasn't made a single error in dictating texts, emails, or commands as it had. Great to choose a song by name or artist, etc. Also good for reminders when I am close to a destination (given it's in my contacts).

Honestly, as much as I hated Siri when it first released (and it had to be legally in "beta" stage in order to collect much data from its user base), the improvements have been profound enough to make it very useful.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:44 PM   #22
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Awesome. More info towards siri the better.

I really want Siri to do reminders without having the address in your contacts. So i can say "When i get to Wal-Mart...." it would recommend on the map. i could select the walmart then add it
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:44 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by yadmonkey View Post
You can improve this by entering phonetic data in Contacts on your iPhone. Edit a contact and choose Add Field... It can make Siri much more useful.
Beware of a ridiculous bug that has existed for a long time with this. Phonetic names change the alphabetizing in contacts. My sister's last name is Jaca. When I put in Haka as a phonetic pronunciation, it moves her contact down into the H area. How stupid is that?
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:53 PM   #24
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I use the crap out of Siri for quite a few things. It is pretty much one of my favorite things about the iPhone. My biggest gripe is probably the remote processing. Sometimes it works perfect, and others it fails because of cell signal or whatever. I think we can expect much bigger strides with siri and siri like tech in the coming releases. With processors constantly making enormous leaps forward each year, I wouldn't be suprised if we see a combination of much more powerful processor, more ram, and in concert with iOS7... have Siri start processing locally on the handset.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 02:54 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Nunyabinez View Post
Beware of a ridiculous bug that has existed for a long time with this. Phonetic names change the alphabetizing in contacts. My sister's last name is Jaca. When I put in Haka as a phonetic pronunciation, it moves her contact down into the H area. How stupid is that?
Holy cow - I never noticed that before, but you're quite right. How stupid indeed!
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