According to a report from Axios, Apple has acquired a San Francisco-based artificial intelligence startup called PullString that specializes in helping companies build conversational voice apps. Pullstring was founded back in 2011 by former Pixar employees. Until now, they were well known within the tech industry as the software backbone behind voice systems for popular toys, like Mattell’s talking Hello Barbie doll. Beyond toys, PullString has also worked on the enterprise end to help companies build skills and apps for Amazon’s Alexa platform and Google Assistant.
While it hasn’t been announced as to what Apple will be getting out of the under $100 million deal, we know that this will mainly help improve Siri powered apps and features, which are sorely lacking compared to the tens of thousands of integrations, skills, and actions Amazon and Google offer.