Apple’s Siri – Big Threat to Google?

November 8, 2011

Mobile Technology

Technology keeps changing almost everyday. You buy a new phone today only to know that it’s upgrade would be launched in 3 months. Similarly, the mobile innovation giant Apple has upgraded the iPhone 4 and come up with the most hyped app, Siri which supposedly posses as a big threat to Google.

Siri is an intelligent assistant that can help you use computing technology in everyday life in a useful way. It brings together many technologies including natural language processing and semantic analysis. So far the tests and reviews have suggested that the technology works.

For people who have switched to Android thinking it has the major market share might be in for a loss with the Apple 4S. Siri is an effort of 5 years of research, 300 researchers and $200 million worth of grant. Apple bought Siri in April 2010 outbidding Google paying a huge price of above $200 million.

Siri is fun, exciting and very useful. I would say it is Steve Jobs’ one of the biggest success and innovation in the Apple. Siri has certain issues with Scottish accent but it can understand US, UK and Australian English as well as French and German. If you were to believe Apple, then it is expected to come up with support for Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian and Spanish by 2012.

Android supporters can say that Google also has Voice search, but it is just an app limited to the search functionality. I’m thinking that Google’s engineers would be working hard now to bring something similar to Siri, but definitely Siri has got the first mover advantage and it would take 2-3 years for its competitor to come.

With Siri, I suppose Apple will have an advantage in Smartphones similar to what Google has over MSN in search.

Gary Morgenthaler one of the original funders of the project before it was sold to Apple said that the current beta version could be compared to the Wright brothers plane and thats as far he thinks it has to go (see video).

We need to wait and see now how far speech recognition can go. There are no third party apps for this at the moment, but I’m hoping this would come out soon as well. Imagine if there were developers writing scripts for enhancing Siri for their websites. The possibilities of making Siri more intelligent would be huge then. We would have Siri in our homes. Just sit on the couch and command the TV to switch on and change channels, no remote, no buttons. People would get more and more lazy and probably the obesity rate would increase further.

Google has taken a big stab this time and from what the reports say, they are not taking it in the right spirit as well. One public announcement made by Google said, “your phone should not be your assistant”. People have now and again said negative things about technology which they cannot anticipate. Like the time when Wright brothers came up with flying machine, people said “why would we want to fly” and look at today’s generation. No one wants to walk or drive, everyone wants to fly.

Android might have many smartphones and biggest share, but Apple iPhone now has the cutting edge, it has undoubtedly proved itself again as the pioneer of innovation and creativity. Hats off to Steve Jobs and his team!

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