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Siri set to rival Windows beauty Cortana after Apple eats Novauris

Speech recognition firm could help fruity firm take Siri offline

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Apple's personal assistant Siri is more than two years old, so you'd think it was high time for its parents to cut the umbilical cord.

Now, however, fanbois' need to keep their fruity friend permanently connected to the internet could be ending after Apple bought a British firm called Novauris, which specialises in voice recognition software.

The firm is based in Cheltenham and is descended from Dragon Systems R&D U.K. Ltd, the British wing of the company behind the Dragon Dictation software.

Apple confirmed the link-up and said: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

We could not get through to Novauris' UK headquarters, but other journalists noted that callers are now greeted with the word "Apple", suggesting the slurping process is done and dusted.

The acquisition is thought to have taken place last year and Novauris' team has since been put to work on Siri.

It had been developing its own automatic speech recognition tech which was capable of using information stored locally, which is a big step up from Siri's requirement for a decent internet connection at all times. ®

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