Apple's purchase of speech tech specialists could bring Siri offline

By on April 4, 2014, 12:30 PM
apple, siri, offline, carplay, speech tech, novauris, dragon systems, melvyn hunt

Apple looks like it could be adding offline functionality to Siri. The company is more than aware of the limitations its digital personal assistant tech has when it comes to requiring an internet connection, but now that Apple has scooped up speech recognition company Novauris, some feel offline functionality could be on the way for Siri.

While Novauris is responsible for much of the technology already running Siri from behind the scenes, the company is also known for its work with local offline speech tech. Made up of previously integral members of well known speech company Dragon Systems, Novauris was working on a automatic speech recognition (ASR) tech of its own. It was said to be able access data from both the cloud and local mobile device storage.

Currently the brain of Siri's operation is run through a series of remote servers, so while there is no direct evidence pointing to Novauris implementing offline tech into Apple's assistant software, it appears as though Apple is very interested in improving Siri's local/offline capabilities. As some have suggested, Apple's CarPlay is a likely candidate for offline Siri functionality, seeing as how unreliable a decent connection can be on the road.

Reports say Apple's acquisition of Novauris took place last year unannounced and that the voice tech team has been working on improving Siri since around sometime last fall. Novauris co-founder Melvyn Hunt recently confirmed with TechCrunch that he and his team work for Apple now and that the company as it once was has been shuttered. The financials of the deal have not been disclosed and Apple has offered up its usual generalized company acquisition statement.

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