Amazon has been found to have purchased a startup called Yap, which could pave the way for it developing its own brand of voice recognition to rival the iPhone 4S Siri system.

Yap are the developers of an app called Yap Voicemail, which on the face of it sounds innocuous enough, however the founders of Yap described the technology involved in the software as being a potential rival to Vlingo - described by the makers as a "voice-to-text and voice recognition technology with [a] powerful intent engine to help you quickly complete your desired action."

However, Amazon seems to have been keen to keep this acquisition quiet, according to an SEC filing first found by the CLT Blog, Yap was merged with a company called Dion Acquisition Sub Inc. When the dust on the buyout had settled the company then took up the Yap Inc. moniker once more. Amazon was only recognised as being involved when the Seattle address for Yap Inc. fits that of an Amazon building.

Yap Voicemail has now been discontinued, and it follows that if it could potentially be enabled to go up against Vlingo it could also be developed into an alternative to SIri - perhaps.

If accurate, this development highlights not only the direction Amazon is taking with its existing products such as the Kindle Fire tablet, but it could give a hint as to its wider ambitions. Ease of search is a must for any connected home setup, and that with Amazon's huge library of digital content, could mean an expansion of its hardware line in the home.