Little known ScanSoft Inc., an imaging and speech software developer from Peabody, Mass., will shell out EUR 36 million ($56 million) for Philip’s speech processing technology and Voice Control business units. Philip’s speech processing dictation business will not be part of this deal.

The closing

is expected to take place during the first quarter of 2003.

Tom Verbeek, the head of Philips corporate investments said that the company still is a believer in the future of speech recognition and by merging Philips’ speech telephony with ScanSoft, the technology will continue to be a leader in the market place.

As for ScanSoft, this deal enhances the company’s portfolio, which includes OmniPage, OmniPage Pro, and RealSpeak. According to Paul Ricci, ScanSoft chairman and CEO, the company will also retain several Philips employees and he believes the deal will expand its market opportunities with existing business partners and global channels.

The Philips speech line includes: directory assistance applications for networked speech recognition, based on the recognition engine SpeechPearl and the telephony platform SpeechMania. The business unit Voice Control provides software technology for embedded speech recognition enabling a speech interface for devices. Voice Control licenses the SpeechWave and Vocon engines.

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