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Apple's latest acquisition could give Siri an important boost



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The company that made Barbie a conversationalist was bought by Apple.
Photo: ToyTalk

Apple's latest acquisition could give Siri a better chance of competing against Amazon's popular voice-power assistant, Alexa.

Bustling, a San Francisco-based startup that specializes in helping developers design, prototype, and distribute voice applications has been allegedly purchased by Apple. The company's platform helps create voice apps for Alexa and Google Assistant, and will likely help Apple do more tools for Siri.

Voice has been an area that Apple has struggled to compete properly. Although Apple debuted Siri before Alexa and Google Assistant, the competition has popped Siri. Apple is apparently making a total overhaul of Siri. Bustling can be a big part of it.

Why Pullstring Means

Founded by former Pixar executives in 2011, Pullstring turned to make voice calls for toys. Hi Barbie and Speaking Thomas Tank Engine were some of the first major successes. Samsung and Activision have also used the platform to create conversation activities.

Axios reports that the agreement to buy Pullstring is worth around $ 30 million, plus about $ 10 million in potential revenue for management. Bustling increased about $ 44 million from VC firms during its existence. It was recently valued at $ 160 million, but perhaps the company saw a better future with Apple than continuing to go solo.

Now that Pullstring is under Apple's umbrella, it can be a platform for developers to create original voice apps for Siri. Apple has not confirmed the acquisition. We traveled out to the company for comment but haven't heard back.


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