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Apple acquired Novauris in 2013, moved workers onto Siri, report says

updated 03:01 pm EDT, Thu April 3, 2014

Buyout flew under the radar

Unnoticed, Apple bought speech recognition company Novauris last year, a report says. While Apple itself hasn't talked about the acquisition, a call to Novauris' UK offices is said to have got confirmation from an employee. People from the Novauris team are claimed to be working on Siri, Apple's voice command system.

Novauris was founded by people from Dragon Systems, an outfit eventually absorbed by Nuance, which in turn licenses technology for Siri. It's not clear why Apple would want the company, but it could simply want to expand the Siri team through acqui-hires. There has also been speculation that Apple would eventually like to jettison the Nuance licensing deal, but Novauris would likely only be a step on that road.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. twolf2919

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 05-14-13

    Another article about the same subject suggested that the reason for this acquisition may be to improve (add?) Siri's off-line capabilities. Sir's achilles heel has always been its reliance on the network - on many an occasion (usually during rush hour) Siri would apologize and ask me to try later, presumably because either the network was bad or the Siri servers at Apple were overloaded (I suspect the former). When the network is bad, Google Now absolutely crushes Siri with regards to voice recognition speed.

    I have noticed lately that Siri is a lot faster - so it could be that some of the fruits of this acquisition have already made their way into Siri. But who knows. It's good to see Apple putting effort into improvements, though.

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