Nortek is the latest is a series of smart-home and CE suppliers signaling their intention to bring natural-language voice control to their products.
Nortek purchased 100 percent of Redmond, Wash.-based Nuiku, which has developed a natural-language processing platform for voice control.
Other companies developing voice-controlled products include startup J Starwhich plans summertime availability of a $10,000 home-control system incorporating a voice OS and artificial intelligence to control home systems. Google unveiled plans to offer an Amazon Echo-like speaker and digital assistant with natural-language voice control of home systems, and D+M Group announced plans recently to integrate voice into its products. For its part, Sonos announced plans to redirect resources to add voice control to its wireless multiroom-audio products.
Nuiki’s technology consists of a “data-driven platform and Cloud based application program interface that enables seamless natural language processing across applications and devices,” Nortek said. “The patented technology adapts to user behavior and prompts, reminds and suggests actions to consumers “based on frequency of use and historical actions,” Nortek added.
The acquisition “adds key software capabilities to our portfolio of technology solutions as well as seasoned engineers that are aligned with our focus of driving innovation across our businesses,” said Nortek president/CEO Michael J. Clarke.