April 9, 2014

Apple acquires speech-recognition company Novauris

It was recently confirmed that Apple has acquired speech-recognition technology company Novauris. Although the acquisition was confirmed recently, it turned out that it had actually taken place last year but Apple had kept quiet about the news.

Though the terms of the deal were not released, Apple acquired Novauris to help work on improving the company's already existing virtual assistant software, Siri. Apple acquired Siri, Inc., a provider of a digital assistant application that was founded in 2007, in 2010. The purpose of acquiring Siri was for use with the iPhone 4S mobile iOS system, according to Forbes.

Apple acquired Novauris as part of an effort to improve its existing voice recognition software. Novauris is based in the U.K. and was founded in 2002. When TechCrunch called the company to learn more about the acquisition, it was revealed that Novauris had already been working on Siri for Apple. Apple is known for keeping news of its acquisitions and their terms quiet. 

According to the VAR Guy, Apple has other potential company acquisition plans in place. It has also recently been reported that the company has been discussing a possible acquisition of a company that makes chips that are used to power smart phone displays. Renesas Technologies is a Japanese semiconductor manufacturer that Apple is considering purchasing part of.

If Apple were to acquire Renesas, the company would be able to produce the chips for its smart phones instead of having to get them from an outside manufacturer. The 240 people employed by Renesas would be able to stay with the company and produce chips for Apple. The value of the transaction is estimated to be around $480 million, though no deal has been made yet.