natural_languageApple has acquired Novauris Technologies, a company with a lot of talent in the automatic speech recognition field, according to a report from TechCrunch. The purchase of Novauris Technologies actually happened sometime last year, and the team is now at Apple working to improve speech recognition features of Siri. A quick look at CEO Yoon Kim’s LinkedIn page shows that the company likely joined Apple in September of last year.

The company is actually made up of former Dragon Systems R&D team members, a company with notable history in the voice dictation and speech recognition fields.

Apple quietly acquired an automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology company called Novauris Technologies, which grew out of Dragon Systems R&D U.K. Ltd., the British research subsidiary of Dragon Systems, a well-known voice dictation pioneer. Founded in 2002, the company was currently being managed by Yoon Kim (CEO), Melvyn Hunt (Co-founder) and John Bridle (Co-founder), whose backgrounds include work at Dragon, Nortel, SRI (which helped to birth Apple acquisition Siri), Marconi and Aurix.

Novauris offered server-based and embedded speech recognition systems to OEMs and had teamed up with Panasonic, Verizon Wireless, Samsung, BMW and others in the past to integrate the tech in smartphones and other products.

Apple hasn’t commented on the acquisition, but TechCrunch was able to get confirmation from co-founder of Novauris Melvin Hunt that the team is now working at Apple .

Update: Apple gave Recode its usual “Apple buys companies from time to time” confirmation of the deal.

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