Items tagged with Siri

Apple's Siri virtual assistant has been a well-used iOS feature since its introduction in 2011, and it's seemed inevitable that at some point, the company would port it (ahem - her) on over to Mac OS X. Well, according to a patent filed on Thursday, the future does indeed hold that in store. When it's going to happen is anyone's guess, although it seems highly unlikely that we'll see it anytime before OS X 10.11's release (10.10 is due sometime this fall). Nonetheless, like Siri for iOS, this virtual assistant would always keep an ear open for commands, and then take appropriate action. At the... Read more...
When you're as a big as Apple, lawsuits are impossible to avoid. After fighting Samsung for years on the design front, Apple's latest scuffle in the courtroom is happening in a country where a huge chunk of its profits are coming from: China. Recently, Apple has been attempting to have a Chinese company's voice-recognition patent ruled invalid, as its validity threatens Apple's ability to let Siri run free in China. Zhizhen Network Technology is attempting to block Apple from selling products in China with Siri installed, alleging that by doing so, it's infringing on a patent that it owns. With... Read more...
Nuance Communications is a company you may or may not be familiar with, but you're almost certainly familiar with its products. Whether you know it or not, the company's voice recognition processing powers Apple's Siri, and according to a new report, that technology could be up for sale. So it goes when you don't actually own the things that power your technology, Apple could be looking at a situation where its most bitter rival (Samsung) purchases the company that's providing the brains behind Siri. Obviously, fireworks would probably ensue, and Apple would have to figure out where else to turn... Read more...
As it turns, you can donate more than just blood to help others; you can donate your voice, and all it costs you is a stretch of time in a recording booth. And if Professor Rupal Patel and Dr. Tim Bunnell fulfill their vision, voice donations from all over the world may someday be generated with an iPhone app.   There are millions of people with speech impairments, and currently the vast majority of them must use generic synthesized voices to communicate. (Think Stephen Hawking.) Apple’s Siri is a voice built from human samples, although in her case the voice wasn’t “mixed”... Read more...
Apple has snagged a patent from the USPTO for what amounts to Siri, evolved. The “method and apparatus for building an intelligent automated assistant” appears to be a situation where your whole home or office is littered with sensors that track where you are and what you’re doing while always being at the ready for voice commands and gestural input. The patented system would include message-passing between sensors as well as features such as language, activity, and time recognition with task automation, culled in part from events “collected from a user's environment”.... Read more...
Apple has released an update to its latest mobile OS with iOS 7.1, and among the bug fixes and miscellaneous tweaks, there’s a big new feature with CarPlay. CarPlay allows you to connect your iPhone to your vehicle in a powerful way, most notably by bringing up a variety of apps and tools from your iPhone to the car’s built-in display. You can control CarPlay with Siri voice commands, use the vehicle’s touch display, and even use the car’s own knobs and other controls. That means that maps and driving directions, calls, messaging, and music can all be seamlessly run from... Read more...
It’s no secret that Microsoft has a competitor brewing for Apple’s Siri, and to a lesser extent Google Now, but Cortana is inching ever closer to becoming something you can actually use on your Windows Phone. According to “sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans”, The Verge outed some sneak peek pics of what Cortana will look like as well as some of her (“its”?) functionality. First, the digital assistant will appear as a circular animated icon, not as a tech version of a manic pixie dream girl (which is probably for the best), and Cortana will address... Read more...
Make no mistake, connected cars are an emerging reality, and Apple wants to be there as early as possible. The Cupertino company is launching an in-car OS next week in a bid to help push cars into a new age where they use an operating system and are connected to services such as navigation, communication, video, and more. According to CNBC, Apple’s car OS will first be integrated with--what else--Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo vehicles. It’s not at all surprising to see cars that run on the same (or a similar) platform to the phones people carry with them. Frankly, it’s a completely... Read more...
Some things are easier said than done, and some technologies are easier to draw up on paper than to actually implement across a wide array of partners. Apple's Siri technology put voice command on the mainstream map, but a few years back, it proudly stated that Siri would be coming to the vehicle, and soon. By and large, that hasn't happened, but the gears seem to be slowly turning now.  Honda and Acura jointly announced that select Honda and Acura models including the 2013 -2014 Honda Accord and 2013 Acura RDX and ILX now offer Apple's Siri Eyes Free mode as a dealer-installed accessory.... Read more...
There’s a human behind every machine voice, from ATMs to airport announcements, but until now nobody knew who was the voice of the American Siri, the female robot assistant that became part of the lives of every iPhone owner since the debut of the 4S. It turns out, she’s Susan Bennett; she’s been doing voice work since the 1970s and had no idea the recordings she made would ever become the personification of the iPhone in her own pocket. Back in 2005, Bennett was called upon to do voice work for a company called ScanSoft (which later became Nuance Communications). She did recordings... Read more...
With the introduction of iOS 7 later this week (at least into public hands), Siri is poised to exit "Beta." Finally, right? Of course, language learning takes time, and Siri has been ingesting queries for a long time now in order to improve her understanding of the human voice. Meanwhile, Google Now shipped for Jelly Bean devices, and arguably offered an even more intense and intimate robotic guide. Not only can Google Now respond to your questions and book appointments into your digital calendar, but it can also anticipate. And if we're being honest, Microsoft's own assistant needs to take anticipation... Read more...
After a leaked screenshot of a Nokia Lumia 920 running Windows Phone 8.1 showed, among other things, an app called “zCortana”, many speculated that Microsoft was developing a personal digital assistant in the vein of Siri. Nothing has happened since then to change that perception, and in fact whispers, rumors, and photos indicate that it’s coming along quite nicely and may be more than just Siri wannabe. Tom Warren posted a screenshot showing Cortana’s involvement with weather alerts, calendar synchronization, and an ability to pin others to your Start screen. Mary Jo Foley... Read more...
We were expecting a Jonny Ive-led redesign of Apple’s iOS with the announcement of iOS 7 at WWDC today, but what Apple unveiled has a lot more going for it that just a heavy facelift. It’s true, though, that the whole look has been revamped; the fonts have been tweaked to be cleaner and simpler, there’s a bit of motion to make the interface seem “alive”, a lot of the items are translucent, and the reliance on skeuomorphs has been pulled back quite a bit. However, all that teasing about a black and white iOS 7 seems to have been substantially overblown. There are hundreds... Read more...
It appears as though Windows Phone 8 is getting a little facelift, at least if some leaked screenshots are to be believed. A Reddit user named “chinaman28” purchased a Nokia 920 from an eBay seller and then shared a number of screenshots on his flickr account (which now appear to be removed). The device has some new features and a UI that aren’t on current Windows Phones, which indicates that it may be a developer’s phone. Chief among the new features is a notification center, which is a much-desired feature of the OS that users have been clamoring for. Image credit: WPCentral... Read more...
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