Will People Really Use Siri?

apple.com/iphone/features/siri.html screenshot

Siri is a program that’s been around for a while, but many people had no idea what it was until the launch of the new iPhone 4S. What started out as a small app with a lot of potential has now become the most talked about feature of the new Apple phone release. The iPhone 4S has only been out for a few days but there are already websites dedicated to Siri all over the Internet.

What is Siri? Siri is a program that allows mobile phone users to speak in order to make a phone call, send a text message, schedule a meeting and multiple other tasks. There has been other voice activated software programs in the past but this one talks back. Siri not only talks back, but it also understands what is being said in ways that previous programs could not. The real appeal, however, seems to be that Siri is clever and witty. Earlier versions of the app hardly made an impression but the new and improved Apple Siri is quite the robotic personality.

Siri users aren’t talking about what a great service Siri is or how useful it will be. The word on the street is not that Siri is changing the way users multi-task, organize, or run their businesses. They are expressing their fondness of the way Siri communicates. Users are asking their phones questions like, “What is the meaning of life?” and “Will you marry me?” Siri does not shirk away from these questions. In fact, with clever answers like, “42” and “My End User Licensing Agreement does not cover marriage. My apologies.” Siri can handle even inappropriate commands like “Talk dirty to me.” Siri’s surly response of, “The carpet needs vacuuming” is hilarious.

However, will Siri ever live up to its potential? Currently, it seems like the new iPhone feature is being more widely used as an amusement device than a tool to help users be more hands off with their mobile phones. One of the reasons voice recognition software programs don’t become more popular is because they are notorious for not understanding the human voice commands. Unfortunately, Siri does not do much better with this challenge but the funny remarks do make the moment less frustrating.

Plus, no one is sure that the world is ready for everyone to be out in public having conversations with their cell phones. Of course, Bluetooth users have been doing this for years. The only difference now is that Siri’s robotic tone will be responding. That means instead of having one-way conversations in a crowd, passersby will be able to hear both sides of the chat. Many are concerned about the device’s popularity and the fact that people talking to themselves in public will be even more commonplace than before.

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