Google Acquires Two Companies, Voice Synthesis And Video Optimization



Google said Friday it had agreed to acquire Cambridge, England-based Phonetic Arts, and video software maker Widevine Technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed for either.

While Phonetic Arts will help Google support speech synthesis to support natural computer speech from recorded voices, Widevine will allow the Mountain View, Calif. company to stream videos to consumers supported by optimization software and a digital rights management (DRM) platform.

Streaming video is rapidly becoming the standard way now to find and watch on demand on sites like Google's YouTube, where people view more than 2 billion videos daily, as well as on popular movie subscription services and tablets, Mario Queiroz, Google vice president of product management, wrote in a blog post.



Google will maintain Widevine's agreements with customers and provide support for existing and future clients such as AT&T, Best Buy and Netflix. There are plans to build Widevine's technology into Google's to enhance both sets of products, which should improve lagging video content available through devices such as Google TV.

Widevine's DRM management tools offer control of encryption, key management, distribution and consumption of digital media, according to the company's Web site. Pre-configured policies, digital rights and encryption are applied to inbound assets, automatically registered with Widevine and the CMS, and then uploaded to a destination partner network or CDN.

Through an app store download to Internet-connected devices, consumers can access content. An entertainment portal allows companies to deliver the content directly to customers. It allows the company to control pricing and subscriber relationships. Adaptive streaming optimizes the bandwidth required to support a consistent live stream without the need for buffering.

  Widevine CEO Brian Baker notes that with the growth of Internet video and network-connected devices, it has become increasingly important for technology to provide consumers with the capability to watch what they want, when they want, where they want.

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