Chevrolet's 2013 Sonic is a spritely little city car, and as of the new year it will have a perky digital personal assistant in the shape of Apple's Siri. Targeted at cash-strapped but mobile-obsessed college leavers and first-car owners, the 2013 Sonic is the first in Chevrolet's line-up to feature the MyLink Siri integration, though it won't be the last. We caught up with Chevy ahead of the new Sonic's infotationment system making its debut at the LA Auto Show to see how iPhone and automobile play together.
Apple is testing versions of OS X 10.9 that include Siri voice control and Apple Maps integration, sources claim, though it's unclear if both features will make it to the public release expected in 2013. Development of the new Mac OS was reportedly begun simultaneously with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, the current release, so 9to5Mac's sources claim, including a "MapKit" framework for coders to embed into their desktop applications much as they can do with iOS apps.
It's time for a new kind of app for the smart universe, on that focuses on the child in you - or your child, of course - and brings your toys to life with augmented reality: it's ToyTalk! The three folks behind this project were all formerly at Pixar in different positions - Martin Reddy was a lead Software Engineer, Oren Jacob was CTO, and Bobby Podesta was a supervising animator, and with their combined expertise, we're about to see speaking toy enter the smart space. The whole project is set to launch at the start of 2013, but just today they've released their first cinematic trailer.
We've all seen the commercials: an individual holding a conversation with their iPhone as if it were a real person. Siri responding back in a human-like manner, acting as an electronic assistant, making life seemingly easier while providing the occasional moment of amusement when you ask her where you can hide the bodies or some other witticism. Google announced earlier today that it has released a new Google Search app for iOS that includes updated and expanded voice features for a more Siri-like experience.
Android Voice Xtreme or AVX is a newly released voice assistant for Android smartphones. The developers of the application say that the app is useful in the car and offers features that aren't found of Apple's similar Siri voice assistant. AVX offers support for NFC tags on compatible devices and has a number of other features that can be accessed using your voice.
Personal voice assistants such as Siri and S-Voice certainly help shift handsets, but their functions are limited in scope to what Apple and Samsung implement. That issue can be sidestepped thanks to Nuance, who have today introduced Nina, a voice recognition service designed to be implemented directly into customer service apps for iOS and Android. The service combines multiple technologies such as text-to-speech, voice biometrics, and natural language understanding, all processed in the cloud that helps carries out commands.
Siri, Google Now and other digital personal assistants have a new rival in the shape of Saga, a mobile app that uses learns from users to provide contextual help, suggestions and more. A free app, currently iPhone-only, Saga pulls in data from Facebook, Twitter and other apps to build an understanding of the individual user, and then crunches that with schedules and preferences to produce suggestions as to nearby restaurants, when would be a good time in the day to run, where friends are (and who users might actually like to hang out with), and other recommendations. However, Saga's future is most definitely in wearables like Google's Glass.
After years of believing that it didn't need to follow in the footsteps of the iPhone or Android (because people obviously prefer mobile operating systems based on a 20-year-old platform), it looks like RIM is now going after the most talked-about feature of the iPhone - Siri. The new alpha version of BlackBerry 10 contains a similar voice-controlled assistant.
We knew Apple would be coming out swinging with Siri, their virtual assistant. Along with Siri finally going international they have announced all sorts of great new features coming in iOS 6. Siri will be better than ever, can now launch apps, and most likely we'll be seeing plenty more of Zooey Deschanel in the near future. Head below to see what's new.