Google buys UK speech technology firm to boost voice output capacity

Search company is confident that it is moving towards "Star Trek future"

Google has acquired UK-based speech synthesis firm Phonetic Arts for an undisclosed sum on Friday.

The new acquisition will help Google build on its voice output capacity, speech technology manager Mike Cohen wrote in a blog post.

Currently, Google integrates voice input in tools like Voice Search, Voice Input and Voice Actions, allowing users to perform searches, compose emails and play songs by talking to their devices.

The search company is confident that it is moving towards "Star Trek future," where computers speak to humans and vice-versa, Cohen added in the post.

Founded in Cambridge in 2006, Phonetic Arts technology is used in video games and helps developers create synthetic voices that will read words in a "natural, expressive way," thus saving developers the effort of pre-recording lines.