Man hacks Siri for home automation tool

An Australian man has hacked Apple’s Siri voice assistant to turn it into a home automation controller.

Using components costing just $125, he’s rigged up a system that allows him to turn lights off and on and open web pages on his PC – and he’s working on getting it to lock his front door and let out his chickens too.

It could also control other home functions such as operating a burglar alarm or controlling a hifi, he says.

Marcus Schappi, CEO of Little Bird Company, used a DNS forwarder called dnsmasq to intercept commands sent from the iPhone 4S to Apple’s computer servers. It then forwards these commands to scripts running on a proxy server.

The only additional electronics required was an Arduino board with an Ethernet port, a couple of Arduino compatible relay modules and a wireless mains remote.

The trick doesn’t actually involve jailbreaking the phone, which means that Apple may look on it relatively favorably. Schappi acknowledges that the company’s still likely to move quickly to plug the loophole that makes the hack possible, although he says this might be impossible without damaging compatibility with existing handsets running iOS5.

Watch the lights going on and off, below.