Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Your Own Personal Assistant On The iPhone

If you want your own personal assistant or virtual concierge service on your iPhone, there’s an App for that.  Basically its your very own PA in your pocket and its free!

Siri is the developer of a conversation or speech to text ability to interrogate your iPhone.  For example, if you want to find a restaurant, movie listings or a taxi nearby, you simply speak your request into the phone.   This is not ordinary speech to text but a virtual assistant, because it goes further; it actually goes ahead and makes the reservation.  You do require an appropriate service at the backend, such as CitySearch, OpenTable etc.  In fact there are 30 trusted brands behind the App.

Another cool feature is the simple reminder for example, tell it to remind you to make a phone call at any time, and it will.  Isn’t that what your PA used to do?

Siri is a clever array of  technologies including natural language processing, but with semantic analysis, and was developed with $200 M worth of Darpa grants.  The App is free and Siri makes money from affiliates fees.  It currently requires a 3G iPhone because it requires processing power.  Android and Blackberry versions are next. 

No word yet on when Siri will be available on Palm OS.  


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