updated 03:01 pm EDT, Thu April 3, 2014
Buyout flew under the radar
Unnoticed, Apple bought speech recognition company Novauris last year, a report says. While Apple itself hasn't talked about the acquisition, a call to Novauris' UK offices is said to have got confirmation from an employee. People from the Novauris team are claimed to be working on Siri, Apple's voice command system.
Novauris was founded by people from Dragon Systems, an outfit eventually absorbed by Nuance, which in turn licenses technology for Siri. It's not clear why Apple would want the company, but it could simply want to expand the Siri team through acqui-hires. There has also been speculation that Apple would eventually like to jettison the Nuance licensing deal, but Novauris would likely only be a step on that road.