Of all the announcements made by Apple Tuesday, one in particular stands out as potentially being the most incredible. Apple fans around the world tuned in to live streams, blogs, and their Twitter feeds to find out all about the new iPhone 4S, a significant update from the iPhone 4 in terms of processing power and camera capabilities. Among the updates is a new integrated piece of software that goes by the name of Siri.
Siri was a mobile “assistant” app developer that developed apps that act as artificial intelligence assistants, answering verbal questions from the user on a wide range of topics including suggested local restaurants and the weather. Siri hit the iTunes and Android App Store with a bang in 2010 before being quickly bought out by Apple for an undisclosed amount in April of 2010. Since that time, it appears that Apple has been working hard to make Siri an integrated part of the overall iOS experience.
In the video below, Chris Pirillo speaks with the founders of Siri in 2010, just weeks before the company was bought by Apple. At the time, Siri’s artificial intelligence app was available on iOS and Android.
Siri’s voice-recognition technology learns your vocal patterns and becomes more accurate as you use it. In addition, the voice-to-text feature is available anywhere you see a keyboard in iOS. This means that Siri works as both an integrated search mechanism and a capable dictation system for the iPhone 4S.
Where Siri really appears to show its usefulness is in its ability to interpret simple questions and commands and immediately relay the results to you. Without even looking at your phone, you can set appointments, text your contacts, ask about nearby businesses, look up information on Wikipedia and Wolfram Alpha, and even have Siri tell you bits of information such as how many days are left until Christmas. The closest thing I can think of to Siri in terms of sheer functionality is Tony Stark’s JARVIS system.
While scheduling appointments with Siri, the artificial intelligence will recognize any scheduling conflicts and ask you if you’d like to move one of the appointments to avoid any issues. You can even tell Siri to give you a location-based reminder, should you need to be reminded to get something done once you arrive at a specific location.
Supported languages include English (US, UK, and Australian), French, and German. Siri launches with the iPhone 4S in beta, but will be updated as development continues.
If you’re a current iPhone 4 owner and you want Siri integration, you’re out of luck. It appears that Siri is being reserved only for iPhone 4S customers at the present time. The iPhone 4S will be available on October 14, 2011.
More information about Siri can be found on Apple.com.