PROVIDENCE, RI--(Marketwired - May 24, 2016) - Nortek, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTK), a global diversified industrial company with leading brands and innovative air management and technology-driven solutions for residential and commercial applications, today announced the acquisition of Nuiku, a next-generation natural language processing platform that facilitates sophisticated voice control across home automation and other applications. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Established in Redmond, Washington, Nuiku is a robust, data driven platform and cloud based application program interface (API) that enables seamless natural language processing (NLP) across applications and devices. Nuiku's patented integration engine connects voice commands with back-end user information to analyze commands and perform actions based on requests. The smart technology adapts to user behavior, prompting, reminding and suggesting actions to them based on frequency of use and historical actions. Nuiku was founded by Sean Thomson and Bill Baker in 2012.
"Nuiku is a leader in natural language processing and a terrific addition to our home automation capabilities," said President and Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Clarke. "The acquisition of the Nuiku technology adds key software capabilities to our portfolio of technology solutions, as well as seasoned engineers that are aligned with our focus of driving innovation across our businesses. We believe this acquisition will result in new, innovative combinations of our products that advance our position in the markets we serve."
In conjunction with the acquisition of Nuiku, Nortek has launched a technology incubation team, responsible for bringing together engineering activities from across Nortek to qualify and develop value-added customer solutions. The team will closely monitor trends in the marketplace, seeking opportunities to acquire or internally develop emerging technologies that can be adopted rapidly and deployed efficiently across multiple of Nortek's businesses. The incubation team will initially focus on two key growth areas including the connected home and personal safety, and leverage technology from recent investments, including Nuiku and MiOS.
"The establishment of the Nortek technology incubation team is reflective of our commitment to supporting innovation as a strategic growth driver across our business," added Clarke. "Our first projects will focus on technologies for the connected home and personal safety markets, and we're excited about the opportunity to leverage our brands including 2GIG®, NuTone®, Elan® as well as our channel relationships that serve security dealers, AV installers, electricians, HVAC contractors and homebuilders. Longer-term, we expect the incubator to qualify, test and bring to market specific product innovations on behalf of all Nortek businesses."
The initial four person team is comprised of both internal and acquired engineering talent, and will be led by Tim Smokoff. Members of the team include:
- Tim Smokoff, VP, Technology Incubation. Tim Smokoff brings significant experience in the health information systems and medical device markets, most recently serving as Chief Executive Officer of Numera, and previously as General Manager of Microsoft's World Wide Health Industry Solutions Group.
- James Poder, Director of Engineering Product Management. James Poder joined Nortek in 2016 and brings two decades of technology and engineering experience, most recently at Comcast where he served as Chief Strategist, Internet of Things.
- Bill Baker, Distinguished Architect. Bill Baker joins Nortek from Nuiku, where he was co-founder and the Chief Technology Officer. Bill has over three decades of business intelligence experience, including with IRI Software, Oracle Corporation and more recently, Microsoft, where Bill served as a Distinguished Engineer.
- David Goss-Grubbs, Principal Engineer. David Goss-Grubbs joins Nortek from Nuiku, where he served as a Senior Developer. David brings unique experience in linguistic processing from corporations that include Natural Language Incorporated and Microsoft.
Nortek is a global, diversified industrial company whose many market-leading brands deliver broad capabilities and a wide array of innovative, technology-driven products and solutions for lifestyle improvement at home and at work. Nortek's broad array of offerings includes ventilation products such as range hoods and bathroom fans, security and audio/video solutions, heating and cooling products, air management systems, and ergonomic and productivity solutions.
As used herein, the term "Nortek" refers to Nortek, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise. This term is used for convenience only and is not intended as a precise description of any of the separate corporations, each of which manages its own affairs.
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