Services & Software

Amazon bought Yap and its voice tech, filing shows

A new SEC filing reveals that Amazon picked up Yap, a company that specializes in voice transcription technologies.

Amazon snapped up the voice startup Yap two months ago, a new filing revealed.

The Atlantic today reported the purchase, which took place in September but wasn't formally announced at the time, from a filing with the SEC (PDF).

Amazon is not named in the document, but the Atlantic tracked the address of the "surviving company" back to a building in Seattle that's owned by Amazon.

Yap came onto the scene in 2007 with technology that could transcribe voice commands into text. The service was originally aimed at teens who did a lot of texting, and later expanded to offer voicemail services for mobile phones that would turn voice messages into text. The company shut down that service on October 20, pushing users to go back to their carriers' voicemail service.

Amazon and Yap did not respond to multiple requests for comment or confirmation on the acquisition.

The purchase is notable given Amazon's foray into consumer electronics and Web services. This month, the company will release its first tablet, the Kindle Fire, which is powered by Google's Android. Google offers its own voice services, but Yap's tech offers a path for Amazon to build out its voice-recognition service platform.

Amazon might also apply voice transcription technology to its customer service operations, site search, and possibly into a new branch of the Amazon Web Services platform.

Update at 2:37 p.m. PT: AllThingsD says it has independently confirmed the acquisition.