Apple Secretly Sprung For Speech Recognition Startup Nouvaris

Siri

Siri can be hit in and miss in terms of quality, but a recent acquisition by Apple may result in the service being greatly improved.

Taking place last year — although only announced now — Apple acquired UK-based automatic speech recognition company Nouvaris Technologies to work on its virtual assistant tool.

Founded in 2002, Nouvaris grew out of Dragon Systems R&D U.K. Ltd. Its founders and CEO have backgrounds working for Dragon, Nortel, Marconi, Aurix, and SRI (which helped create Siri).

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Novauris’s main software product is something called NovaSystem — a server-based distributed speech recognition system, capable of handling multiple simultaneous voice access requests. Its applications and services are able to search on-device content like contacts, apps, FAQs, music, and translation — along with assisting with navigation or content search in a device’s App Store.

The British group hasn’t made an official comment, but did confirm to TechCrunch that it is now part of Apple and no longer working as an independent entity.

  • Jose Alves Fernandes

    Portuguese is the fifth-most spoken language in the world! So Apple, what are you waiting for?

    • Kr00

      Which one? Original or Brazilian? Why not go out and produce it yourself?

      • Jose Alves Fernandes

        Both, as for English (EUA and UK)! i’m an user not a developer.

      • Kr00

        You are wrong. It isn’t the fifth most spoken language on the planet.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_number_of_native_speakers

        Hindi and Arabic rank higher than Portuguese, yet they don’t have Siri.

        So how easy do you think it is to code two dialects of the one language into a speech recognition program on a mobile OS and a cloud service? So instead of whining about it, do something yourself.

        So how about you record all the letters, numbers, vowels, accents and pronunciations yourself and send it to Apple?

  • http://www.propaganda.com David Lawrence

    the biggest problem with Siri isn’t voice recognition (although that can definitely use improvement), it’s that Siri is stupid. In my experience, Siri misinterprets anything but the simplest query. It’s “egg freckles” all over again.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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