What started out as a humble app on the App Store has turned into one of the biggest divisions at Apple.
Many were captivated when Apple introduced the inclusion of Siri, a voice-activated software platform, as an integral part of the iPhone 4S. Many more have become dazzled as they started putting the software to the test over the weekend.
The Wall Street Journal profiled the technology to highlight the launch of the latest iPhone, showcasing the fact that it is managed by one of the largest teams at Apple.
The company acquired Siri for $200 million after it was fascinated by the original app.
What’s so unique and captivating about Siri is its sense of humor. There’s been a lot of advancement in voice recognition technology lately, but the one thing that mostly remains the same is that the responses are sterile and clinical – the computer can understand what you’re saying but it’s still just a computer.
With Siri, you can ask a question like “Who’s your daddy?” and it will respond with “You are.” Or quote the greatest AI movie ever, 2001, and ask your phone to “Open the pod bay doors,” and you’ll be replied with “I’m afraid I can’t do that,” HAL 9000 style.
But it’s more than just a novelty trick. Siri can transcribe texts and let you operate your phone completely with your voice, including searching for restaurants, setting alarms, and placing calls.
Clearly this could be a defining product for Apple, especially in this post-Steve Jobs era. And it’s sure to fuel Google, which had wanted Android to be the leader in voice recognition, to push the envelope even further. It’s an exciting time for this technology.