Apple, in a secret manner has acquired UK based speech recognition firm Novauris, reports TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez. This aims at further improvements in its virtual assistant technology Siri. Although the deal was done a year back, it was announced on Thursday. The terms and other details of the deal remain undisclosed.
Incidently, the announcement came in just after the recent launch of Microsoft’s Cortona, a personal digital assistant similar to Siri.
Novauris was launched in 2002 with the belief that voice will become the interface of choice for consumer applications of all types. The company was initially founded by Dragon System’s Jim Baker. However, he sold it to John Bridle and Melvyn Hunt in 2004. Later, Yoon Kim joined in as a CEO.
Post acquisition, Yoon will work as a Manager, Siri while John will be the Scientist, Siri, as revealed from their LinkedIn profiles.
The team has developed its core technology Nova Search, for applications over telephone and data networks and in embedded devices. Novauris’s main software product, NovaSystem, is a server-based distributed speech recognition system, capable of handling multiple simultaneous voice access requests.
By providing convenient voice input together with modest computation and memory requirements, it opens up possibilities for new applications in areas including entertainment systems, in-car navigation systems, location-based information provision, and automated call centers.
Apple was working on the speech and gesture recognition technology from past many years. Apple’s previous acquisitions in this space included FingerWorks (Gesture recognition, 2005), Polar Rose (face Recognition, 2010) and Primesense (3D Sensing, 2013).
Note: Recently, Microsoft revealed its own personal digital assistant, Cortona, similar to Siri. and there is Apple announcing its year long acquistion of Novauris.
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