After TechCrunch, The Wall Street Journal Confirms that Speech Recognition Pioneer Novauris is acquired by Apple. Apple quietly acquired Novauris, an automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology company based in United kingdom. Which grew out of Dragon Systems R&D U.K. Ltd., the British research subsidiary of Dragon Systems, a well-known voice dictation pioneer.
Update: Apple has issued a confirmation, of sorts, that it has purchased Novauris, telling TechCrunch that “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Novauris actually began operations in March 2002, after reassembling almost all the former Dragon Systems U.K. R&D team.
The Novauris website doesn’t make any note of the Apple acquisition, but when TechCrunch rang their U.K. offices, Novauris co-founder Hunt answered the phone, “Apple.” He confirmed that he and the team now work for Apple, and that Novauris itself is no longer an active entity.
Novauris may not have been a household name, but its founders were internationally known speech researchers, and key members while at Dragon Systems, a company known for products like “DragonDictate” and “Dragon NaturallySpeaking.” Novauris had been developing its own large-vocabulary, automatic speech recognition technology for access to information stored locally on mobile devices or remotely on servers, which they patented in the U.S. and abroad, and licensed to major corporations worldwide.
The Wall Street Journal covered one of Novauris’ demo apps back in 2011, a London guide called “Speak&Go London,” noting how fast and impressive the speech recognition was, because it took place on the mobile phone itself.
Novauris teamed up with Existor that same year to build a Siri-like app for any device.
The company has offices in both the U.K. and U.S. Yoon Kim is currently in Cupertino, having been based in the Bay Area previously while at Novauris.
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