Yesterday, it was announced that Kitt.AI would be acquired by Baidu. Kitt.AI made waves by being one of the early providers of an official Alexa trigger word for Alexa Voice Service enabled products (along with Sensory). It was also a recipient of the Alexa Fund.
The acquisition by Baidu signals Baidu’s deep interest in ambient voice interaction along with providing shopping and other services. Baidu also partnered with Conexant recently on a development kit for its voice services.
It’ll be interesting to see what direction the acquisition by Baidu take Kitt.AI. Will it continue to provide Snowboy, it’s SDK for local trigger for Alexa? Will it be exclusive to Baidu products? Is local voice even of interest to Baidu?
What this does show is that the world is big and there is a lot of opportunities outside of Alexa for those working in voice.