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Apple reportedly building out Boston Siri team, suggests rapid build-out of proprietary tech

A report on Monday claims Apple is bolstering its Siri research team in Cambridge, Mass., bringing in new blood and expanding into a larger office as the company weens off Nuance-based technology.


Local publication BetaBoston spoke with commercial retailers familiar with Apple's expansion, who said the company is looking to move the Siri team into a 13,000-square-foot space in the Kendall Square building's upper floors. The group currently works out of an office on the fifth floor, seen above.

According to sources, the larger space could afford Apple room enough to hire some 65 people, which would be a major upgrade from current staff numbers. The upgraded office space is Apple's third lease in the building.

It has been speculated that the core of Apple's Boston group is comprised of employees who previously worked at VoiceSignal Technologies, a firm purchased by Nuance in 2007. As Apple's Siri currently relies on licensed Nuance speech recognition technology, which is also used by other OEMs like Samsung, the Cupertino company is rumored to be in the midst of developing its own in-house solution.

In June, Apple was rumored to have created a special Siri development team, which includes former Nuance vice president of research Larry Gillick and speech project manager Gunnar Evermann. Also hired on to the small division was Alex Acero, who was reportedly poached from Microsoft in 2013.

Apple's next-generation Siri virtual assistant will debut with iOS 8 on Tuesday, supporting hooks into the HomeKit framework for voice control of smart home hardware like lights, appliances and more.