A personal assistant built into the new iPhone 4S is creating quite a sensation. Besides answering voice prompts with written replies on screen, Siri can talk, call numbers and set reminders.
But what has captured the imagination of many users is the phone’s ability to answer a myriad of oddball questions. This has apparently fascinated users who increasingly want to “connect” with their technological toys in a more personal way. It also opens up exciting new opportunities for high-tech job seekers.
The new Siri feature was created to respond to spoken queries about restaurant and movie theater locations. But users are now challenging Siri with “meaning of life” questions that have prompted their 4S to wax philosophical. For example, when one user asked, "Why am I here?" Siri replied: "I don't know. Frankly, I've wondered that myself." When another user asked where he could hide a body, Siri suggested reservoirs, metal foundries, mines, dumps or swamps. Siri Q&A sites have sprung up everywhere.
Siri’s unique ability will usher in a whole new type of software. One that interacts more intimately with users. Device owners will expect this new software to “learn” all it can about them, including likes and dislikes, personal background and a myriad of other preferences and idioms.
The new field of man-machine interaction science adds the disciplines of psychology and sociology to device software. What the 4S with Siri finally proves is that people have a need to connect with their devices in a way that goes far beyond merely functional.
For an added perspective, check out this video:
If you have any thoughts on the brave new world of talk-back devices, feel free to share them in the comments section.
Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients. Please see more of his blogs and view additional job postings on Nexxt.