Apple was definitely not the first company to provide the world with a “voice command” service, but the company sure improved the concept. Siri may not be the best service out there, but it has pioneered a trend that we can now find in Google Now and Cortana. Obviously Siri is the result of multiple acquisitions that Apple has done in the last couple of years, and even though it’s not common for a company to get acquired silently these days, it seems that Apple has been doing just that.
Novauris is one of the pioneers of speech recognition software, or at least was as the company got silently acquired by Apple last year. It was founded in 2002, but its employees came mostly from Dragon Systems, which eventually became part of Nuance. The reason why Novauris is unique is because it can handle multiple simultaneous voice requests, recognizing complete phrases and analyzing syllable structure for better speech recognition.
This should allow Siri to improve its ability to handle multiple requests at a time, which we’ve seen as one of its biggest deficiencies. Apple has just confirmed the acquisition of Novauris, and according to its statement: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”