[LINK] We'll just send your speech to our servers ...

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Wed Oct 12 20:06:26 AEDT 2011


> Siri is iPhone 4S-only today; where will it be tomorrow?'

> Apple is launching the iPhone 4S this week with the recently unveiled integration of Siri, a voice activated "assistant." Siri accepts voice input and can perform a range of actions on your iPhone, including looking up information, adding calendar events, and even composing short texts and e-mails.


> Right now Siri is limited to the iPhone 4S. Presumably much of the reason for that limitation is that Siri requires a lot of computing power to work. Siri co-founder Norman Winarsky told 9to5 Mac that the Siri app, originally released in early 2010, required a number of workarounds and optimizations to work well on the then-current iPhone 3GS's 600MHz processor. Even with the significant processing boost gained from the iPhone 4S's dual-core A5 processor, however, Apple is still calling the tech a "beta" nearly two years after its first public release.


> While these sound like easy things to pull off, the fact is that that these devices may not get Siri at all—at least not in the short term. Besides a relatively beefy processor to power Siri's natural language interpreter, it also relies on speech-to-text recognition technology from Nuance. This works by encoding and sending an audio file to Nuance's servers, which return the interpreted text to the iPhone. Without a constant data connection, Siri doesn't work, period. iPhones are rarely without data connections, but the same can't be said for WiFi-only iPads and iPod touches. Apple will still need to find a way to work the feature into these devices in a way that doesn't frustrate users when it isn't available after leaving the range of a convenient WiFi signal.

So to do its speech recognition, your iPhone 4S sends your speech to a server on the internet and gets return text.

Anyone see any issues with that?

Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
T: +61 2 61402408  M: +61 404072753
mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburn
skype://kholburn - PGP Public Key on request 

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