Siri: Putting it to Work
By Jim Lundy
While on a flight today I was doing some last minute texting (via Apple Siri) before the doors closed. I sat next to an executive who put her Blackberry down next to me. I asked her how long she planned to keep using it. Her reply was pretty standard – “until my company says I can get a different smartphone.”
We ended up having a conversation about what I was doing with my phone (using it as a digital assistant) and I gave her a demo of the Apple iPhone 4S and what it helps me do from a work perspective. The main discussion was around my use of Siri – the voice enabled Digital Assistant that is part of the iPhone 4S.
What I indicated to this executive is that I use the Siri enabled iPhone as a capable assistant. The discussion topics:
– using Siri for all text messages
– using voice dictation for other text input activities
– using Siri to reschedule appointments on my calendar
– using Siri to find restaurants when travelling
– using Siri to do basic internet search
The discussion traversed to one of ease of use. I indicated I use it all the time, but that it took some getting used to. Siri isn’t perfect but it is far faster than typing or searching. In essence Apple’s Siri is a voice interface to applications and to search. It’s simplicity is what makes it easy to understand. I explained to my new friend that even my nephew – 4 years old – knows and uses Siri (on his Mom’s phone).
We had a good laugh about my observation about how Apple hid the Voice processing chip inside the iPhone and how so many in the press didn’t pick up on that clever deception by Apple.
So, the conclusion of the chat was my new friend indicating that she now gets why people are switching. Smartphones like the iPhone and others from Google and Microsoft – they are making people more productive. Expect a lot more on Digital Assistants and Voice interfaces going forward (Siri and others). Check out our research on Digital Assistants.