Nortek, the supplier of residential and commercial control and HVAC systems, made its second acquisition in as many months, this time purchasing a company that developed a natural-language processing platform for voice control.
Nortek purchased 100 percent of Redmond, Wash.-based Nuiku, and it might not be Nortek’s last acquisition. Nortek created a technology-incubation team to acquire or internally develop emerging technologies that can be quickly adopted by multiple Nortek brands. The team will initially focus on the connected home and personal safety and will leverage technology from Nuiku and from home-automation platform provider MiOS, in which Nortek purchased a 25 percent stake.
The MiOS purchase was announced last month. Terms of the Nuiku acquisition were not disclosed.
The Nuiku acquisition is the latest sign that natural-language voice control is growing more important in the home automation and CE markets. Startup J Star, for example, plans summertime availability of a $10,000 home-control system incorporating a voice OS and artificial intelligence to control home systems with natural-language voice commands. Google unveiled plans to offer an Amazon Echo-like speaker and digital assistant with natural-language voice control of home systems, D+M Group announced plans to integrate voice into its products, and Sonos announced plans recently to redirect resources to add voice control to its wireless multiroom-audio products.