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Apple picks up speech recognition firm Novauris to help boost Siri

Terms of the deal remain a mystery
Fri Apr 04 2014, 10:52

APPLE HAS ACQUIRED speech recognition firm Novauris Technologies, in order to boost its Siri digital assistant.

Techcrunch reported the deal, and Apple seemed to confirm the buyout in a typically vague statement. A spokesperson for the company said, "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

Novauris also confirmed to Techcrunch that the firm has been picked up by Apple, revealing that the company is no longer independent. Novauris CEO Yoon Kim has also updated his Linkedin webpage to show that he now works as a manager at Apple's Siri unit.

Interestingly, the report claims that Apple actually bought Novauris last year, but the purchase wasn't made public until now. Terms of the deal still remain a mystery.

Novauris Technologies specialised in automatic speech recognition, and originally was spun off from the team that developed Nuance's Dragon Naturally Speaking software. The company's advanced speech recognition technology is used by firms including Verizon Wireless, Panasonic, Samsung and BMW, and has been used to power many voice mapping systems, hinting that Apple will use the firm's skills to enhance its Apple Maps service.

Since Apple acquired it, the firm reportedly has been working to improve Apple's Siri digital assistant, with the fruits of the firm's labour likely to appear in iOS 8 when that is unveiled at WWDC in June.

News of Apple's acquisition of a voice recognition firm comes just days after Microsoft announced its Siri rival, Cortana, which will appear in Windows Phone 8.1. µ


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