Swype, the developers of the self-named virtual keyboard for Android smartphones, is to be bought out by Nuance. The information originated from Uncruncheds Michael Arrington. For those who are not aware, Nuance is a producer of voice recognition software for use in corporate environments. According to the Wall Street Journals AllThingsD, the acquisition is to cost between $100 million and $150 million.
TechCrunch has reported that the official announcement is expected tomorrow. Thanks to the work of Michael Arrington, information about it has been uncovered before the official date. Nuance has acquired several different companies during 2011. In June, they bought SVOX, who also offered speech recognition software, just shortly after having purchased software developer Equitrac.
An interesting side-note is that Nuance own both T9 and Swype now. Both are downloadable keyboards for Android smartphones, and both were concepts from the same person. The future of T9 is currently unclear due to the agreement. Nuance could choose to merge the two, or to kill T9 off. Due to the nature of Android and its Market, removing the T9 keyboard would likely result in multiple successors being contributed by the community. It is very unlikely that Nuance would kill off Swype, for several reasons. By owning Swype, Nuance has also acquired the patent on motion-based text input, so it could play a role in future software released by Nuance as well.