“Apple has agreed to buy PullString, a San Francisco-based startup that enables the design and publishing of voice apps, Axios has learned from multiple sources,” Dan Primack and Ina Fried report for Axios.

“This could help Siri better compete with Alexa,” Primack and Fried report. “PullString was founded in 2011 by a group of former Pixar executives, and originally was used to power interactive voice apps for toys (including Hello Barbie in 2015). It later broadened its approach with the introduction of such IoT products as Amazon Echo and Google Assistant.”

“The upfront deal value is said to be around $30 million, plus around $10 million in potential earn-outs for management,” Primack and Fried report. “That would include CEO Oren Jacob, who once served as Pixar’s CTO.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The synergy abounds.

We continue to pull the string to see where it takes us. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, January 24, 2012

We can continue to pull the string and see where it leads us. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, January 23, 2013

We inspire them to pull the string and see where it takes them. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, December 9, 2015

Of course, Cook was talking about Apple TV and coding education, but how could he not buy a company named PullString?

Plus the fact that they can do this and soon, hopefully, so will Siri:

Head of Apple’s Siri team apparently has been reassigned – February 4, 2019
AI guru John Giannandrea named to Apple’s executive team – December 20, 2018
Former Apple employees on Eddy Cue: Siri and Eddy were ‘a bad fit’ – September 5, 2018
Apple’s Siri improved by 11 percentage points in correct answers over the last 15 months – July 25, 2018
Apple combines machine learning and Siri teams under John Giannandrea – July 10, 2018
Apple’s ‘personal assistant activation’ patent application hints at improved Siri – May 10, 2018
iOS 11.4 will allow Siri to recognize AirPlay commands – May 3, 2018
iPhone X owners are extremely satisfied with basically everything except Siri – April 20, 2018
Apple’s Siri, HomePod and the voice assistant showdown – April 6, 2018
Apple’s A.I. efforts get shot of adrenaline with Giannandrea coup – April 6, 2018
A.I. defector gives Apple access to Google’s secrets – April 6, 2018
Gene Munster: Poaching AI chief John Giannandrea from Google a win for Apple – April 5, 2018
Apple hires Google’s A.I. chief to improve Siri – April 4, 2018
Apple hires Amazon A9 exec Stasior to run Siri unit – October 15, 2012