Furthering its effort to reinvent and dominate search on mobile media devices, Apple recently acquired Siri, a pioneer in voice-activated search applications. The company's free Siri Assistant iPhone app first became available to consumers in February.
Apple's acquisition of Siri, terms of which were not disclosed in a April 27 Federal Trade Commission filing, represents the company's most ambitious step to date to own the search experience on the iPhone and other devices. No doubt this move will inflame the increasingly hot war between Apple and Google, its former ally.
Founded in 2007, San Jose-based Siri helps users locate consumer services by various voice commands. Its partners include OpenTable.com, Yelp and Yahoo! Local. The company's revolutionary technology was developed and later spun off from the CALO artificial intelligence project funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Once commercialized, Siri raised $24 million from a variety of venture capital investors including Menlo Ventures, Morgenthaler Ventures and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing (an investor in Facebook.)
Earlier this week, Apple confirmed that it paid $121 million for Austin-based chip maker Intrinsity. Intrinsity was likely responsible for the A4 chip used in the iPad, and it is believed the company's technology will provide faster processing power for Apple's mobile devices.
These acquisitions figure to make Apple's just announced 2010 Worldwide Developer's Conference even more captivating. Scheduled to take place in San Francisco June 7 to June 11, the conference should "officially" unveil Apple's 4G iPhone and new operating system.
While much is still unknown about that conference, Siri figures to have an inside track on the Apple's mobile search strategy moving forward.