Before I begin, let me be clear that I don't refer to myself as necessarily an Android or an Apple fan. I believe that rich innovation spurs competition which leads to more innovation which further spurs more competition (and the cycle continues). It's been awhile since I've genuinely believed and bought into an idea or concept that a company tried to sell. That is, until my mind was changed today watching the stream of the Apple keynote where iOS 5, voice recognition software "Siri", and the iPhone 4s were unveiled. Of all the things discussed in the keynote, I found the voice recognition capabilities of iOS 5 to be the most exciting yet.
The voice recognition software to be featured in the debut of iOS 5 is going to be revolutionary. Unlike the voice recognition offerings of other companies, Apple will be the first to use natural, complex, and conceptual voice cues in order for users to obtain information from their phones.
Gone will be the generic Call Susan, or Next Track. Instead, voice commands such as:
Do I need a raincoat today?
Am I busy on Friday?
Wake me up at 6am tomorrow.
Convert 1USD to euros.
Find a good Japanese restaurant near me
All this will be possible through multi-search engine integration featuring Yelp and Wolfram Alpha, and others. Think of Jarvis from the Iron Man film series. A verbal query sent to your phone will in turn be spoken back to you with a female voice that will give you the information you desire. This will work hand- in- hand with handsfree headsets and bluetooth devices that will enable users to read and compose messages (emails, texts etc.), check the weather, and ask questions without ever looking at their phone. Truly revolutionary.
Think about this for the possibilities that this opens up! The masses will be using this technology first and foremost on mobile, not desktop devices. These are exciting times as our mobile devices become more essential, personal, more powerful, and infinitely more exciting! I am crossing my fingers for Google to implement something similar to this, because I believe this is the wave of the future. Bring on the competition!