Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has made another one of its trademark quiet acquisitions, according to TechCrunch. The site reports that Apple bought Novauris Technologies last year, although the deal was never officially announced.

Apple Novauris

Novauris grew out of the British research arm of Dragon Systems, which was one of the earliest companies to release voice dictation software. Novauris started in 2002 with just about the entire British research team from Dragon Systems. Although Novauris’ name isn’t really widely known, many people have heard of the Dragon NaturallySpeaking software. The company also developed DragonDictate.

Apple’s acquisition stays hush-hush

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) did not disclose the terms of its acquisition of Novauris. Also the voice recognition company’s website does not state that Apple acquired it. However, TechCrunch reportedly called Novauris’ offices in the U.K. and got company co-founder Melvyn Hunt, who answered the phone, “Apple.” He did confirm that the entire team works for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) now and that Novauris isn’t an active entity on its own any longer.

The now-former company set itself apart from others by working in both the server and embedded space while also owning the core engine of their technology. There were talks last year that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) would buy Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN), which developed the technology behind its Siri personal assistant feature. Interestingly enough, Nuance merged in 2005 with ScanSoft, which had the rights to the Dragon dictation line of products.

Novauris was a key acquisition for Apple

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) probably wanted Novauris’ technology all for itself, as the copany worked with many other manufacturers and also carrier partners. A fact sheet lists Apple’s biggest competitor, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930), among its clients, as well as others like Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ).

The company also partnered with Panasonic Corporation (ADR) (OTCMKTS:PCRFY) (TYO:6752) in 2012 to develop another speech recognition technology called NovaLite. It was to be sold to manufacturers of consumer electronics so that they could enable their products for voice.