Nuance Gets ‘Siri’ous About Voice Recognition, Acquires Swype for Over $100 Million

In one of the largest acquisitions in the mobile space in recent weeks, Speech recognition technology provider Nuance Communications has announced it acquisition of mobile text input solutions firm Swype.

The value of the acquisition is $102.5 million, according to details contained in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The documentation with the SEC reveals that Nuance remitted $77.5 million at closing with the remaining amount to be paid by early 2013.

Nuance’s acquisition comes just days after Apple unveiled its latest iPhone 4S featuring the “Siri” voice recognition software. Siri, as its widely known, uses Nuance’s speech recognition technology.

“Nuance is bulking up on the mobile front so that they can have a bigger presence on the next-generation handsets,” FBR Capital Markets & Co analyst Daniel Ives tells Reuters. “They can’t just stand by and just stick to their core competency of being a voice recognition technology player on mobile.”

Swype, founded by Cliff Kushler, makes a keyboard that allows users to input words on a touchscreen device by sliding a finger or a stylus from letter to letter.

Last year, Nuance purchased ShapeWriter, an application similar to Swype.