Siri is a spin-out of the Darpa-funded CALO project. Its primary focus had been Conversational Interface, Personal Context Awareness – kind of moving the web Interface from a search based – as we know today to an assistance based.
Big players like Microsoft have always been working on the speech recognition technologies but Siri is different. Actually Microsoft did buy out TellMe -Voice Services for Phone- in 2007. Though this is being touted to be part of the Bing Mobile, there had not been much ado about the same after. Siri brings a different play by merging transparent APIs from a growing ecosystem of partners in the back end. This seems to be a growing list with a wide range of vendors like
- OpenTable, Gayot, CitySearch, BooRah, Yelp, YahooLocal (Restaurant/Business)
- Eventful, StubHub, LiveKick (Events)
- MovieTickets, RottenTomatoes, New York Times (Movie information/Reviews)
- Wolfram Alpha (Computational Engine)
- Bing and Google (Web search)
When I first learnt about Siri, was really exited, but when I tried to get my hands on the same learnt they were currently developing only for iPhone and iPod. I was very much hoping that they would soon be releasing for other mobile platforms like Symbian [myself being a long time nokia user !] based on the update @ siri site.
The current version of Siri is built for the iPhone 3GS and the iPod Touch and works only in the US. Soon, Siri will run on iPhone 3G and additional mobile platforms, as well.
But with today’s news of Apple buying out Siri – not sure how it is all going to unfold. This definitely would be a big plus for apple against google. Apple no longer is the David , and microsoft had never been the Goliath !