Microsoft has made it official that it is going to acquire SwiftKey, a developer of popular software keyboards for Android and iOS Phones for an undisclosed amount. Vice President of Microsoft, Harry Shum confirmed the deal in a blog post on Wednesday morning said that Microsoft got attracted to artificial intelligence techniques of the software which could speed users typing.
In October ’15, Swiftkey announced an alpha version of a new neutral network based Swiftkey keyboard that does a better job of predicting which word the user will type next.
Other such virtual keyboards perform the hard computation on a powerful server and return the results to the smart phone. They also register whatever the user types on the phone onto a cloud server.
But SwiftKey’s Neural Alpha Keyboard does the number crunching on the phone, potentially allowing the system to be more respectful of user’s privacy and security by storing and processing sensitive data locally.
Shum added that Microsoft has no intentions to shut down SwiftKey’s iOS or Android Apps, and promised to continue their development. In future, the Redmond giant may plan to integrate SwiftKey services into Word Flow in order to cut down competition in the said field.