Siri Fetches Beer, Threatens Google
It’s been just two weeks since the iPhone 4S—with Siri—debuted. The virtual personal assistant, which is still in ‘beta,’ has captivated the attention of many users, hackers, and soothsayers. Here’s a quick roundup of the extraordinary things Siri has already done and is expected to do.
* Fetch and open a can of beer. Ad agency Redpepper patched together a ridiculous but successful Siri hack that results in beer automatically poured into a glass. The hack, named ‘Beeri,’ uses Siri, Twitter, an Arduino Uno microcontroller board, and a remote-controlled truck. The agency wisely captured their hack—which looks like something out of a Wallace & Gromit episode—on video.
* Control an Apple TV set. The Internet was buzzing this week with revived rumors about an Apple television set sometime in the next year or two. The set will supposedly incorporate Siri as a kind of intelligent remote control, so you could say something like “Turn on Turner Classic Movies” instead of fumbling to find the channel with a handheld remote.
* Kill Google. Forbes.com posted an article today headlined ‘Why Siri Is a Google Killer.’ The article, by Eric Jackson, argues that Siri, which can look up information online with minimal effort on your part, could cripple Google’s search engine business, which has the same goal as Siri. Siri has personality, works well, will only get better, and could go ‘ballistic’ if Apple opens up the Siri API to developers, Jackson writes.
This much is already clear: Siri, or a similar voice-recognition technology, will become more engrained in our lives through the use of smartphones. In the future, you might use Siri and an iPhone to start your car, remotely turn on your home’s air conditioner, feed the dogs, even cook your dinner.
It’s a heady beginning for a technology that’s only been in the wild for two weeks.