Apple has kind of confirmed that it recently acquired another small company, called Novauris. The firm specializes in speech recognition. 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).
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.
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.It has been reported that Novauris’s experts are already working inside Apple to improve its voice assistant, but no one really knows exactly what they’re up to. One of Novauris’s big strengths has been locally processed recognition, which doesn’t rely on distant servers, so it’s possible that Apple wants Siri to accomplish more without a data connection. (Apple’s current Siri partner, Nuance, can also do offline processing, but Apple hasn’t been able to bring that technology in-house.)
Another speculative cause may be the advent of CarPlay, the erstwhile iOS-in-the-Car.