Nuance CEO Confirms Its Technology is the Heart of Apple’s Siri

One of the worst kept secrets in Cupertino is that Apple's beloved Siri voice assistant contains DNA from Nuance Communications, the same company that birthed the Dragon line of speech recognition products. The fact is, Nuance has quite the collection of voice-related technologies and patents, and even though it was widely suspected to be powering Siri, there was never an official acknowledgement from Apple or Nuance. Until now.

In an interview with AllThingsD, Nuance Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Paul Ricci answered a bevy of questions about speech technologies, and in doing so, he confirmed that Nuance is powering Siri, adding that its technology is both client-based (locally) and cloud-based, depending on the application. In Siri, for example, it's actually both, though he says there are some embedded bits as well.

Siri iPhone

As for the competition, Ricci said Nuance isn't powering Google's speech recognition software, though the company does work with Samsung and other firms in certain voice applications that run on Android. Ricci didn't say which specific ones, though he had plenty to say on the future of voice recognition.

"I think we will see virtual assistants in two years that will be quite robust in certain subject areas," Ricci said. "They’ll be good at command and control of the device. They’ll become refined by your usage and the preferences that you have. They’ll also work across platforms. So it will follow you from your tablet to your TV to your phone, etc."

Looking way down the road, Ricci wouldn't be surprised if one day there were microphones placed around your home, so that as you walk from room to room, you can issue voice commands to, say, turn on the lights.