Can you guess what links computerised speech recognition with the T9 predictive-text mechanism that most of us use to write text messages on mobile phones?

The answer is simpler than you'd think - they're owned by the same company.

I discovered it when I bumped into a chap from Tegic, the company behind T9, at a press event organised by voice recognition outfit Nuance. He told me that the latter had recently bought the former from its previous owner, AOL.

He also mentioned some interesting stuff about how T9 is developing. Mobile phones have more powerful processors now, so they can do more - it means T9 will be able to guess more things, for instance, such as if you mistakenly miss out a letter from a word, or accidentally double-tap a key.

Sadly though, there's no plans to extend these extra features to existing users - they'll be for new handsets only. Although we are its users, T9's customers are the phone manufacturers, so there is a fundamental disconnect between what we want from T9 and what T9 is able to give us.

That means I'm stuck with a phone which, while great in some respects, lacks the "word order preferencing" that it ought to have - and can't be upgraded to add it. Thanks, Nokia!

So what's the link from voice recognition to mobile phones? Well, as phones get more powerful, they can do other stuff too, not just dialling by speaking a name but transcribing speech to an SMS or email, say, or reading out an incoming SMS.

Mobile speech recognition is still in its infancy, to judge by the beta software I've tried. It is immensely promising though, so it's no wonder that Nuance would jump at the chance to buy Tegic's contacts with the phone industry.