Google Buys Speech Technology Firm Phonetic Arts

Google’s latest purchase: Phonetic Arts, a U.K. company that has worked on making computer speech sound more human. The company’s technology is now used by video game makers to create “expressive and responsive dialog” in their games, but Google (NSDQ: GOOG) hints in its announcement that it could potentially be used in some of its products, including Google Translate, which can read translations of text out loud, as well as the turn-by-turn navigation feature built into the mobile version of Google Maps.

Phonetic Arts was founded four-years ago, according to this write-up in a British business weekly, but it launched its product suite only a year ago. It has apparently gained accolades and a client roster that includes Electronic Arts (NSDQ: ERTS) and ZeniMax Media.