Siri Voice Recognition
Siri is a remarkable type of intelligent, voice-activated software that is currently available for Apple’s iPhones. Initially Siri was released in the App Store as an application for iOS. In April 2010, Apple officially acquired the technology. Siri had early publicly discussed plans to release Siri for phones powered by Android, as well as for Blackberry, but these efforts did not go through after the acquisition.
Unlike previous attempts at voice recognition software, Siri works much more seamlessly and is integrated into a variety of functions. Its main purpose is to act as a personal assistant tool. One of the primary features that has made Siri so popular is that users can voice commands using natural language instead of special keywords and phrases that older technologies required. Moreover, the longer a person uses Siri, the more it gets used to their accent and command patterns, thus improving responses over time. The program has access to an immense database of responses. For example, a user can dictate an email to Siri and command it to send it to a specific person, ask it about the weather, make reservations, request traffic updates, or ask it to set up a reminder for a future event. Apart from these useful responses, Siri also has a large bank of humorous responses to questions such as “What is the meaning of life?” and “Will you marry me?” which has endeared it to customers. In order to provide meaningful information, Siri is able to access nearly all the apps that come built-in with the iPhone 4S. Beyond this, it can also access several other apps, and can automatically figure out which one to tap into based on the question that the user asks.
iPhone users have been steadily discovering a variety of uses for Siri. It is incredibly useful as a reliable hands-free device for drivers. People who are exercising or working and cannot use their hands to control their phone can simply state a request out loud and have Siri provide the appropriate response. To take it one step further, Siri has made iPhones the perfect tool for blind people. Where they were once unable to use smart phones, now those with visual impairments can simply ask Siri to read emails or text messages aloud, and then dictate a reply without the need to type anything. The technology is so versatile in this regard that it comes highly recommended by the National Federation of the Blind.
There is no doubt that Siri has some enormous implications for the future of cell phone technology. It has lifted the bar for the average user’s cell phone experience. Instead of simply using the device as a cell phone, Siri will soon cause users to become increasingly dependent on it as a convenient knowledge hub and virtual assistant. As Siri and perhaps other similar future technology continues to develop, it can greatly benefit blind people and those with disabilities that prevent them from easily using other types of technology. It would empower them, facilitate communications and help them to perform tasks to improve their lives.
Within the next few years, it is quite likely that other competing brands will race to implement similar technology into their models as well. With this level of artificial intelligence and voice recognition capability, cell phone users can suddenly do so much more with their smartphones. Apart from just cell phones, we may even see similar technology ported computers and tablets as the next stage. Another implication is that smartphones could be virtually integrated to a user’s home or office computer, so that voice recognition software might be used to continue work while away from the main computer. To offer more functionality, they might even need to be able to access larger external databases, such as retail websites. Imagine shopping for dinner by simply dictating a list of groceries to the phone and having it put in the delivery order with the store automatically. More importantly, a cellphone with this type of high level software might even be used as a virtual remote control in the future. By integrating it with devices such as televisions, computers, and DVD or Blu-ray players, users could watch a movie by saying something like “I want to watch Jurassic Park on the TV”.
Just as many cell phone users were beginning to get used to the world of possibilities that their smartphones offered, thanks to Internet access on the go, Siri has certainly brought this experience to an entirely new level. It has essentially begun a race for a new breed of cell phone technology and revamped the way people use cell phones.