Monday, May 3, 2010

Apple Buys Siri - Personal Assistant App

I reported about Siri's  "PA in your pocket" in Feb. 2010 and now Apple has acquired the company.   Siri's core technology is based on artificial intelligence: a sophisticated voice command search, location based search and advertising for mobile smartphone devices.  The practical aspect of this technology means a user can easily interrogate or ask simple questions by speaking into their smartphone.   Siri  allows the command to connect to the service requested and even book a restaurant table via the web.  Clearly Siri's technology requires back-end partners, such as Open Table, to complete a restaurant reservation but to the user it is as seamless as calling your very own assistant and making a reservation.  

Details of the deal were not disclosed however, Siri raised $24 million from investors, including Menlo Ventures and Li Ka-Shing, a Chinese billionaire who has also invested in Facebook. 

Siri's technology was first launched for the iPhone but it remains to be seen whether Apple will restrict it's future development or allow versions for Android.  Either way, such intelligent technology is finally here and will begin to appear in many other consumer applications including cars and homes. This acquisition also evens the playing field between Apple and Google Android, as well as striking a direct hit against Google search on the iPhone, in favor of Safari.  

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