Wavii, the natural language technology startup, has updated its home page, and its previously-monochromatic logo, to officially confirm that it has been acquired by Google — a deal that we noted earlier this week was “north of $30 million.” And to set speculation running about what might be coming next, Wavii CEO Adrian Aoun confirmed that it will be shutting down its service so that it can use “our natural language research at Google in ways that may be useful to millions of people around the world.”
There are a number of ways that Google may end up implementing Wavii technology and the talent that it’s picked up along with it, with possibilities in areas across search, apps, and mobile:
When we first covered the company back in January 2012, as it first emerged from stealth mode, we noted that it wanted to make a “Facebook out of Google.” That referred to the way that it asked for keywords for things that interest you, then combined that with natural language processing and machine learning to comb the web, linking that up with your Facebook social graph, to produce pages of content relevant to you, effectively giving the whole of the web a kind of intelligent, personalized order.
After coming out with a public beta in April 2012, Wavii, as ATD notes, moved to a mobile-first business model around November 2012. Today, it’s known also for having technology similar to that of Summly, the summarizing app bought by Yahoo for $30 million.
As we noted earlier this week, Apple had also been looking at the company as something that could complement its Siri speech recognition/personal assistant product, and considering that, Wavii could also end up playing a part in developments at Google Now — Google’s own bid for personal assistant dominance.
Here’s Aoun’s full announcement:
You probably know us best for our app that takes the deluge of information streaming across the web and condenses it into fast, fun updates. While we won’t continue to offer this particular service, we’ll be using our natural language research at Google in ways that may be useful to millions of people around the world.
To all of our loyal Wavii users, we owe you a big thanks for all of your feedback and involvement throughout this journey. We look forward to taking our technology to the next level and delighting you with what we come up with next!