One of the biggest buzzes on the street these days is the voice recognition software that seems to be coming on mobile phones. The biggest buzz seems to be around Siri on the new IPhone 4s. The question I have is how effective is it?
I have heard various opinions on the application from “It changed my life, I don’t know what I did before it” to “I don’t think it is as effective as other voice recognition software on the market and I think it has been overblown by marketing.” I also have one lonely friend that apparently stated that he was in a relationship with Siri for a while until she apparently became very needy and he became tired of her always asking if he needed anything.
With all of this said, I began my journey to find out how effective Siri actually was. Being an avid IPhone user and have owned every model except the 4s, I did quite a bit of research in advance of the release of 4s. My opinion at the time was that it wasn’t worth my money to upgrade my phone for a faster processor and a virtual assistant (Siri). After talking to people about the device and its functionality, I can see the benefits of having something like that. One instance would be when I am in the car and I get a text (I spend a lot of time in the car), most States now have laws against texting and driving. If I had the 4s I could speak my text and keep more of my attention on the road. With that being said, it brings me to the most important part of my research, does Siri work instantly or do I have to teach it? I found the excerpt below from an Apple support article (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4992)
Does Siri work out of the box or do I have to teach it?
Siri works right out of the box, without any work on your part. And the more you use Siri, the better it will understand you. It does this by learning about your accent and other characteristics of your voice. Siri uses voice recognition algorithms to categorize your voice into one of the dialects or accents it understands. As more people use Siri and it’s exposed to more variations of a language, its overall recognition of dialects and accents will continue to improve, and Siri will work even better.
With that said, I have a deep voice and at times a bit of a Southern Drawl, does this mean that Siri is going to have trouble understanding my dialect? Do I need to wait for it to learn or do I have to deliberately enunciate each word and syllable so that Siri would understand me? Don’t get me wrong, I can see the effectiveness of telling Siri to remind me to give my mom a call when I leave work. What this means to Siri is to set a reminder to call “Mom” from my contacts list once I leave a certain geographical area. Effective, yes.
What it boils down to is how you have configured your actual IPhone. Do you have relationship status filled in for contacts? What I mean by that is if I tell Siri to call my Wife, would she know which ones of my contacts was my wife? I think this is where the leg work comes in.
I think one of the biggest benefits of Siri is the search command. Yes it is great that it can send an email and set a calendar event. It is amazing that it can shoot off a text to a friend telling them that I am running late but what I think is the most beneficial is that I can tell it to open maps, email, conduct a Google search for me all so I don’t have to type on that aggravating IPhone keypad.
All in all, I have decided to hold off on the 4s and wait for the next version. As appealing as it is to me to be able to talk to my phone and in theory never be lonely again, I don’t think the price is worth me upgrading from my iPhone 4 at this time. For those of you that disagree, enjoy.
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